Japan 1’s Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe and Kazakhstan 1’s Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko, fresh from capturing the respective women’s and men’s titles at last week’s AVC Beach Volleyball Tour in Thungsong, Thailand, are top seeded in their divisions in the 16th Samila-Chang AVC Beach Volleyball Tour open event at Samila Beach from April 14 to 16.
Earlier this month, Thailand hosted two successful beach volleyball events – AVC Continental Cup Zonal Championships Southeast Asia in Nong Khai and the AVC Beach Volleyball Tour in Thungsong. Now, the host country is ready for the third beach volleyball event in Songkhla.
Thirty-five men’s teams from 20 countries and 23 women’s teams from 14 nations have confirmed their participation in the three-day, double-gender tournament, vying for top honours and the shared US$30,000 prize money.
Participating countries comprise of host Thailand, Japan, Kazakhstan, Vanuatu, China, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Qatar, Iran, Oman, Philippines, India and Maldives.
The women’s event sees all 23 teams split into eight pools of three teams each from Pools B to H, except Pool A which has two teams – Japan and Vietnam 1.
Japan 1’s Take/Mizoe are top seeded in the tournament, followed by Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee are second seeds, while Asian Beach Games gold medallists Tatyana Mashkova/irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan are third seeds. Thungsong runners-up Miller Pata/Linin Matauatu of Vanuatu are seeded fourth.
On opening day, Take/Mizoe received the first round bye, Thailand 1’s Radarong/Udomchavee took on Hong Kong 2’s To Wing Tung/Koo Yung Yung. Kazakhstan’s Mashkova/Tsimbalova played Indonesia 2’s Purari Eka Yokebed/Maria Dwiningtyas in the first round, with Vanuatu’s Miller/Linlin pitted against China 2’s Wang Xinxin/Ding Jingjing.
After the Samila Open, the Japanese pair is entered in the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour open event in Fuzhou, China, from April 21 to 26.
In the men’s division, the 35 teams will be divided into 12 pools of three teams each from Pools B to L, except Pool A which has two teams – Kazakhstan 1 and Papua New Guinea.
The teams’ accumulated points have been taken into consideration for the seedings like in last week’s Thungsong meet, which saw Kazakhstan 1’s Dyachenko/Sidorenko emerging as top seeds, China 1’s Wu Jiaxin/Li Lian as second seeds, followed by Kazakhstan 2’s Dmitriy Yakovlev/Alexey Kuleshov and China 1’s Ha Likejiang/Bao Jian. Australia’s Joshua Court/Damien Schumann are fifth-seeded in the event and Qatar 2’s Cherif Younousse/Jefferson Santos Pereira are seeded sixth.
Papua New Guinea 2’s Richard Batari/Ake Walo received the first round bye, but will face Dyachenko/Sidorenko of Kazakhstan 1 next. Thailand 2’s Panupong Toyam/Nuttanon Inkiew will kick off their campaign with India 2’s Naresh Tumpera/Raju Mudunuri Chalapathi Krisham, then they will go up against China 2’s Wu Jianxin/Li Jian in their second encounter.
In the men’s category, Papua New Guinea 2’s Richard Batari/Ake Walo receive the first-round bye, but they will face a daunting task in the next match against top seeds Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko of Kazakhstan 1. Thailand 2’s Panupong Toyam/Nuttanon Inkiew will kick off their campaign with India 1’s Naresh Tumpera/Raju Mudunuri Chalapathi Krishnam to next go up against second seeds China 2’s Wu Jiaxin/Li Jian in their second encounter.
Only the top teams from each pool will emerge as the standing teams in the knockout round, with teams finishing in second and third places drawn in the elimination round.
England 6-Russia )
England defeated New Zealand 49-46 to level up the three-match Series at 1-1 heading into the deciding match on Wednesday morning.