Lausanne, Switzerland, May 28, 2018 - The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns to China and Turkey as Jinjiang near the Taiwan Strait of the East China Sea and Alanya on Turkey’s central Mediterranean coast host international events this week.
The Jinjiang Open is the third of six World Tour events in China this season as Qinzhou and Xiamen have already hosted Chinese tournaments on the 2017-2018 international calendar. The Alanya Open is the third of five Turkish tournaments this season with the first two events being in Mersin and Aydin.
Both tournaments begin on Thursday with qualifying for the 23rd and 24th men's events on the World Tour this season and the 20th and 21st women's tournament on the 2017-2018 international calendar. Six men’s and women's teams will advance from the Jinjiang qualifier on Yakon Beach and four from each gender's preliminary rounds on Alanya's famed Cleopatra Beach.
Main Draw play starts on Friday for 24 teams in Jinjiang and 16 teams in Alanya. The quarterfinals for both tournaments will be held on Saturday to set the field for Sunday's semifinal and medal round matches. The winning teams in Jinjiang will share the $4,000 first-place prizes while the Alanya winning pairs will split $1,000 for winning the gold medal.
The Jinjiang and Alanya events launch the seventh of 18 straight weeks of play on the World Tour. The competition streak started with a World Tour event in Xiamen (April 18-22). The 2017-2018 international beach volleyball concludes from August 14 to 19 with the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany.
Teams from Romania and Brazil topped the World Tour podiums this past Sunday in Miguel Pereira, a mountain resort in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. It was the second of two international stops in Brazil this season where Itapema in the southern part of the country hosted the World Tour from May 16-20.
The gold medal finish by Adriana-Maria Matei and Beata Vaida was the first-ever podium-topping placement for a women’s or men’s beach volleyball team from Romania on the FIVB World Tour. The first-place finish was posted three days after Matei’s 20th birthday. Vaida, who is also 20, and Matei defeated Aline Lebioda and Diana Silva in the Miguel Pereira finale after losing to the Brazilians in a three-set pool play match on Friday.
Romania's first-ever FIVB World Tour medal was earned by Miquel Pereira podium-toppers Beata Vaida (left) and Adriana-Maria Matei with Brazilians placing second and third.
In the men’s All-Brazilian gold medal match, Luciano Ferreira de Paula/Vinicius Rezende defeated Rodrigo Bernat/Harley Marques in the three-set title match. The 43-year old Harley was bidding to become the second oldest player to win a FIVB-sanctioned beach volleyball event.
Brazilian men filled all three podium spots in Miguel Pereira for the 24th-time on the FIVB World Tour.
At 48, Vladimir Kostioukov of Russia captured the 2001 FIVB challenger/satellite event in Beirut, Lebanon with Dmitri Barsouk. At 41, American John Hyden is the second oldest as he captured the Berlin Grand Slam in 2014 with Tri Bourne.
Brazil - Miguel Pereira, May 24-27, 2018, $5,000, FIVB Women’s event No. 351
1. Adriana-Maria Matei/Beata Vaida, Romania, $1,000
2. Aline Lebioda/Diana Silva, Brazil, $700
3. Victoria Lopes/Taina Silva, Brazil, $500
4. Rachel Nunes/Naiana Rodrigues, Brazil, $400
Gold - Matei/Vaida vs. Aline/Diana, 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) (33 minutes)
Bronze - Victoria/Taina vs. Rachel/Naiana, 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) (35)
Brazil - Miguel Pereira, May 24-27, 2018, $5,000, FIVB Men’s event No. 389
1. Luciano Ferreira de Paula/Vinicius Rezende, Brazil, $1,000
2. Rodrigo Bernat/Harley Marques, Brazil, $700
3. Alvaro Andrade/Ramon Gomes, Brazil, $500
4. Vinicius Cardoso/Felipe Numasawa, Brazil, $400
Gold - Luciano/Vinicius def. Bernat/Harley, 2-1 (22-24, 21-18, 15-6) (54)
Bronze - Alvaro/Ramon Gomes vs. Vinicius/Numasawa, 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) (40)