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The $150,000 Tokyo Open starts the week’s schedule at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza followed by the $50,000 Agadir Open in Morocco and the $10,000 Samsun Open in Turkey. The Japanese and Turkish stops are inaugural FIVB World Tour events with Agadir hosting a men’s event for the third time and the women for the second straight season.
Agadir hosts an FIVB World Tour event for the second-straight season
The Tokyo Open and the Moroccan events begin Wednesday with qualifying on Wednesday followed by Main Draw pool play on Thursday leading to the weekend’s elimination bracket matches with the podium placement matches on Sunday for both men and women.
The fifth FIVB World Tour event in Turkey this season after stops in Mersin, Aydin, Alanya and Manavgat, the Samsun Open begins with qualifying on Thursday with Main Draw play starting on Friday and the medal matches on Sunday. The Samsun Open is also the seventh of nine events incorporated from the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) schedule into the FIVB World Tour for the 2017-2018 season.
Teams from Austria, Chinese Taipei and the United States captured gold medals last week with action in Haiyang, China and Ulsan, Korea as the FIVB World Tour calendar has now sanctioned 34 events for the men and 35 for the women this season.
In Haiyang with three American women’s pairs in the semifinals, Emily Day/Betsi Flint of the United States won the women’s gold medal by defeating Germany’s Sarah Schneider/Cinja Tillman. It’s the first career FIVB title for Day and the third for Flint as the pair was playing together for the fifth time on the World Tour.
Emily Day (left) and Betsi Flint of the United States
In the Haiyang men’s competition, Austria’s Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller came out of the qualifier in their first ever FIVB World Tour event together to net each player’s first ever FIVB World Tour gold by defeating Thiago Santos/George Wanderley of Brazil in the finale. The Austrians are now the 22nd men’s team in 401 World Tour events to win a gold medal after coming out of the qualifier.
The Ulsan event produced a milestone as Nai-Han Kou and Pi Hsin Liu became the first women’s or men’s team from Chinese Taipei to win an FIVB World Tour gold by defeating Japan’s Kaho Sakaguchi/Yukako Suzuki in the finale. The Ulsan women’s event was the last single gender event of the 2017-2018 World Tour calendar.
Nai-Han Kou (left) of Chinese Taipei during the Ulsan Jinha Open
China - Haiyang, July 18-22, 2018, $150,000, FIVB women's event No. 367
1. Betsi Flint/Emily Day, United States, $10,000
2. Sarah Schneider/Cinja Tillmann, Germany, $8,000
3. Caitlin Ledoux/Sarah Sponcil, United States, $5,000
4. Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen, United States, $4,000
Gold - Flint/Day def. Schneider/Tillman, 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) (33 minutes)
Bronze - Ledoux/Sponcil def. Stockman/Larsen, 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) (29)
China - Haiyang, July 18-22, 2018, $150,000, FIVB men's event No. 401
1. Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller, Austria, $10,000
2. Thiago Santos Barbosa/George Wanderley, Brazil, $8,000
3. Likejiang Ha/Jiaxin Wu, China, $5,000
4. Alvaro Filho/Luciano Ferreira, Brazil, $4,000
Gold - Seidl/Waller def. Thiago/George, 2-1 (10-21, 25-23, 15-8) (50)
Bronze - Ha/Wu def. Alvaro/Luciano, 2-0 (21-13, 21-13) (41)
The men's podium in Haiyang with Brazilian, Austrian and Chinese players
Korea - Ulsan, July 20-22, 2018, $10,000, FIVB women's event No. 366
1. Nai-Han Kou/Pi Hsin Liu, Chinese Taipei, $2,000
2. Kaho Sakaguchi/Yukako Suzuki, Japan, $1,400
3. Sakurako Fujii/Shinako Tanaka, Japan, $800
4. Miyuki Matsumura/Samaa Miyagawa, Japan, $800
Gold - Kou/Liu def. Sakaguchi/Suzuki, 2-0 (21-12, 21-19) (34)
Bronze - Fujii/Tanaka def. Matsumura/Miyagawa, 2-1 (15-21, 21-19, 15-12) (47)
After this week’s action, the third Beach Major Series event of 2018 is being held in Vienna, Austria from July 31-August 5 while the Ljubljana Open will be played in Slovenia from August 3-5. The next week’s schedule features events in Moscow, Russia and Vaduz in Liechtenstein, both from August 8-12.
The final event on the 2017-2018 FIVB calendar will be the season-ending stop in Germany from August 14-19 when Hamburg hosts the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals for the second straight season where 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams will compete for $800,000 in prize money. The top eight-ranked teams per gender will qualifying for Hamburg along with two wild cards per gender.