Lausanne, Switzerland, April 15, 2019 - A week after its 1,000th beach volleyball tournament in Thailand, the FIVB welcomes Sweden as the 51st country to host a World Tour event as the international circuit returns to Europe after eight weeks of competition in Asia.
Hosted by Göteborg Beachvolley Club, the Swedish event will begin on Thursday with men's and women's qualifying followed by main draw pool play on Friday, elimination rounds on Saturday and the medal matches on Sunday at the world’s biggest indoor center for beach volleyball.
In the previous two seasons, the Beach Center hosted European confederation men's tournaments with teams from France (Arnaud Gauthier-Rat/Arnaud Loiseau in 2017) and Germany (Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler in 2018) netting gold medals.
The US$10,000 Göteborg Beach Center Open brings the 2019 international beach volleyball schedule back to Europe for the first time since early January when the Netherlands hosted the DELA Beach Open in The Hague from January 2-6. For the previous eight weeks, the FIVB World Tour staged events in Australia, Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Qatar and Thailand.
The 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour played its 16th and 17th men’s and 14th and 15th women’s events this past week with the double-gender tournaments in Satun, Thailand and Langkawi, Cambodia where several teams competed in both tournaments. The men’s Satun competition marked the 1,000th tournament since the first FIVB-sanctioned event in February 1987 in Rio de Janeiro.
In Satun on Thursday, Denysenko/Vladyslav Iemelianchyk of the Ukraine defeated Iran’s Abolhamed Mirzaali/Rahman Raoufi to capture the men's title in tournament No. 1,000 while Nai-Han Kou/Pi Hsin Liu of Chinese Taipei defeated Vanuatu’s Miller Pata/Sherysyn Toko for the women's crown.
Thailand, Satun, April 8-11, US$5,000, FIVB men's event No. 425
1. Denys Denysenko/Vladyslav Iemelianchyk, Ukraine, $1,000
2. Abolhamed Mirzaali/Rahman Raoufi, Iran, $700
3. Sergey Bogatu/Dmitriy Yakovlev, Kazakhstan, $500
4. Kitti Duangjinda/Dunwinit Kaewsai, Thailand, $400
Gold - Denysenko/Iemelianchy def. Mirazzli/Raoufi, 21-10, 21-14 (33 minutes)
Bronze - Bogatu/Yakovlev def. Duangjinda/Kaewsai, 28-26, 14-21, 15-9 (68)
Thailand, Satun, April 8-11, US$5,000, FIVB women's event No. 389
1. Nai-Han Kou/Pi Hsin Liu, Chinese Taipei, $1,000
2. Miller Pata/Sherysyn Toko, Vanuatu, $700
3. Diana Lunina/Maryna Samoday, Ukraine, $500
4. Andrea Galindo/Claudia "Gorda" Galindo, Colombia, $400
Gold - Kou/Liu def. Pata/Toko, 18-21, 21-18, 15-12 (45)
Bronze - Lunina/Samoday def. Galindos, 23-21, 21-15 (39)
The men's and women's podium at Satun
In Langkawi on Sunday, Lara Dykstra/Cassie House of the United States defeated Ukraine’s Diana Lunina/Maryna Samoday for the women's title while Anton Kislytsyn/Daniil Kuvichka defeated Andrey Bolgov/Vladislav Ermilov in an all-Russian finale.
Malaysia - Langkawi, April 11-14, US$5,000, FIVB men's event No. 426
1. Anton Kislytsyn/Daniil Kuvichka, Russia, $1,000
2. Andrey Bolgov/Vladislav Ermilov, Russia, $700
3. Hitoshi Murakami/Takashi Tsuchiya, Japan, $500
4. Piotr Ilewicz/Adrian Sdebel, Poland, $400
Gold - Kislytsyn/Kuvichka def. Bolgov/Ermilov, 21-16, 21-15 (34)
Bronze - Murakami/Tsuchiya def. Ilewicz/Sdebel, 21-15, 21-18 (40)
Russian winners Anton Kislytsyn (left) and Daniil Kuvichka
Malaysia - Langkawi, April 11-14, US$5,000, FIVB women's event No. 390
1. Lara Dykstra/Cassie House, United States, $1,000
2. Diana Lunina/Maryna Samoday, Ukraine, $700
3. Dimitra Manavi/Konstantina Tsopoulou, Greece, $500
4. Yurika Sakaguchi/Mayu Sawame, Japan, $400
Gold - Dykstra/House def. Lunina/Samoday, 16-21, 21-19, 15-13 (53)
Bronze - Manavi/Tsopoulou def. Sakaguchi/Sawame, 13-21, 21-13, 15-13 (43)
In the women's Langkawi gold medal match, Dykstra and House captured back-to-back FIVB titles on consecutive weekends after the Americans topped the podium the previous Sunday in Battambang, Cambodia. For Lunina and Samoday, it was their second World Tour medal in a four-day period as the Ukrainian placed third at the Satun event.
Cassie House (left) and Lara Dykstra of the United States
Following the Swedish stop, the FIVB World Tour returns to Asia for double gender events in China (April 24-28 at Xiamen) and Malaysia (April 30-May 4 at Kuala Lumpur) before a women's only tournament from May 9-12 in Tuan Chau Island, Vietnam.
After the three Asian events, the FIVB World Tour stages men's and women's tournaments in Brazil (May 15-19 in Itapema) and Turkey (May 16-19 in Aydin) followed by a double gender competition in China (May 22-26 at Jinjiang) and the Philippines (May 23-26 at Boracay).