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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Duo Wins Beach Prize

Fresh from the beach volleyball World Cup trials, the all-Moscow pairing of Dmitry Krashov and Viktoriya Dimirchova claimed a 2-1 win over the St. Petersburg-Moscow duo of Mikhail Kushnirov and Anna Bobrolla in the finals of the first Russian beach volleyball tournament.

Since the first round in July, teams of mixed doubles had been competing to become one of eight finalists to play for the sand-based title, and help cement an acceptance of the sport in Russia.

The losing pair was, however, gracious in defeat. "It was an enjoyable game but, as ever, impossible to predict the outcome," said Krashov.

The event is the brainchild of tournament director Vlas Larkin. A keen beach volleyball player, he saw the potential beach volleyball had in Russia.

"On every beach in Moscow there is a [volleyball] court, however the game has yet to properly progress onto the beach," he admitted. "Most volleyball players are used to playing the classical game in the gym and have yet to develop the correct techniques for playing on sand."

Larkin conceded the sport requires more than an annual tournament for Russian players to achieve international success: "Beach volleyball's profile has been raised by its inclusion as an Olympic sport, however it now needs backing from the government. Russia has players of a sufficient quality to compete successfully in European and world events."