Lausanne, Switzerland, May 13, 2019 - After a three-week stay in Asia with stops in China, Malaysia and Vietnam, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour heads in different directions this week for double-gender stops in Brazil and Turkey.
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With the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships looming in 46 days with the final wild card berths for the event to be announced this week, the $300,000 Itapema Open launches this week's schedule as the men's and women's tournament will be played on the north-central coast of Santa Catarina state in southern Brazil.
Qualifying for the second annual Itapema Open will be Wednesday with the main draw rounds starting on Thursday followed by elimination bracket play on Friday and the medal matches on Sunday on the Meia Praia where Brazilians swept the podium in 2018.
The €40,000 Aydin Open begins play with qualifying on Thursday followed by pool play on Friday, the elimination rounds on Saturday and the final four matches on Sunday where the winning teams will share the €4,000 first-place prizes. Aydin is located at the heart of the lower valley of Büyük Menderes River in southwestern Turkey.
Aydin hosts the FIVB World Tour for the second-straight season.
Five of the six teams that captured Itapema medals at the inaugural event in 2018 are entered in this week's first of two Brazilian stops on the 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour calendar. The South American country will also stage an event in early August at Miguel Pereira.
The Brazilian pairs of Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola and Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa topped the 2018 Itapema Open men's and women's teams after defeating European teams from Norway and Switzerland, respectively. While Agatha and Duda will defend their title, Evandro (with Bruno Oscar Schmidt) and Andre (with George Wanderley) are competing with different partners this season.
Other Itapema medal winners in the 2019 field are Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway (men's silver), Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland (men's bronze), Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland (women's silver) and Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson of Canada (women's bronze).
The 2018 Itapema podium with Brazilians, Canadians, Norwegians, Polish and Swiss pairs.
Medal-winning teams returning for the Aydin Open are Abolhamed Mirzaali/Rahman Raoufi from Iran and the Thurin twins (Kristina and Susanna) of Sweden. The Iranians dropped the 2018 Aydin final to Stefan Basta/Lazar Kolaric of Serbia in three sets while the Swedish twins placed on the podium with Mailen Deliz/Leila Martinez of Cuba (gold) Ksenia Dabizha/Daria Mastikova of Russia (silver).
The 2018 Aydin podium with presenters.
In women's only action last week in Vietnam, Dabizha and Daria Rudykh defeated Alexandra Moiseeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva in the all-Russian finale while Japan's Yui Nagata/Yukako Suzuki captured the bronze medal by defeating Ioana-Alexandra Ordean/Beata Vaida of Romania.
Vietnam - Tuan Chau Island, May 9-12, $10,000, FIVB women's event No. 394
1. Ksenia Dabizha/Daria Rudykh, Russia, $1,400
2. Alexandra Moiseeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva, Russia, $1,400
3. Yui Nagata/Yukako Suzuki, Japan, $1,000
4. Ioana-Alexandra Ordean/Beata Vaida, Romania, $800
Gold - Dabizha/Rudykh def. Moiseeva/Syrtseva, 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in 34 minutes
Bronze - Nagata/Suzuki def. Ordean/Vaida, 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) in 32 minutes
The FIVB World Tour schedule in May wraps up back in Asia with double-gender events in China (Jinjiang, May 22-26 and Nantong, May 30-June 2), and the Philippines (Boracay, May 23-26) before returning to Europe for the Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic starting May 29 and concluding June 2.