Israeli Beach Volleyball Duo Make History In Qatar

(L)Ariel Hilman (R) Sean Faiga of Israel in the match between Sean Faiga Ariel Hilman of Israel vs Ivan Solomans Sven Mollgaard of South Africa during Day of the FIVB Mangaung Open on December 11, 2014 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Getty Images for FIVB)
Steve Haag/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: Beach volleyball duo Sean Faiga and Ariel Hilman (pictured) racked up two historic achievements on Monday, becoming the first Israeli team in the sport to vie for an Olympic spot, and the first volleyball players to participate in a competition in an Arab country.

The pair won their first qualifying match against a Japanese team, beating their opponents by two sets to zero at the FIVB Qatar Open, which took place in the capital, Doha.

Faiga and Hilman are the first Israeli volleyball players to compete in an Arab country. Israel Volleyball Association CEO Yaniv Newman said the team members are being treated warmly by their hosts and have strict protection from local forces and Israeli security guards, Israel Radio reported.

Israeli athletes usually encounter difficulties when competing in Arab countries. Nevertheless, for Israelis to compete in international sports that have tournament circuits across the globe like tennis, judo, swimming and now beach volleyball, they cannot entirely avoid competitions in these states.

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