Lausanne, Switzerland, October 22, 2018 - For the first time in three seasons, the FIVB World Tour returns to Mexico in Chetumal as the Yucatán Peninsula city of 150,000 inhabitants hosts the planet's "elite" women's beach volleyball players starting Wednesday.
The US$75,000 Chetumal Open is the seventh FIVB World Tour event to be staged in Mexico and the first since October 2015 when the resort city of Puerto Vallarta hosted both men and women on the Pacific Ocean side of the country.
The seventh women's event on the 2018-2019 World Tour calendar, the inaugural Chetumal Open will also be the first FIVB Beach Volleyball event to be played on the eastern side of Mexico with other international tournaments being in Acapulco (1999, 2005, 2006), Rosarito (2000) and Puerto Vallarta (2014 and 2015).
The Chetumal Open marks the end of five-straight weeks of FIVB action as the World Tour visited China, Iran and the United States before traveling to Mexico for an event that earned beach volleyball teams points and participation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour played its seventh and eighth men’s and its sixth women’s event this past week with a double-gender four-star event in Las Vegas and a men’s-only one-star event in Bandar Anzali, Iran.
In Iran this past Friday to conclude a series of three-straight weeks of FIVB competition on the Caspian Sea, Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko of Kazakhstan won the first World Tour gold medal for their country by defeating Bahman Salemi/Arash Vakili from the host country for the Bandar Anzali Open title.
Canada's Sarah Pavan and Canada's Heather Bansley in action in Las Vegas
In Las Vegas on Sunday as the FIVB World Tour visited the famed United States resort city in Nevada, Norway’s Anders Mol/Christian Sorum and Canada's Heather Bansley/Heather Wilkerson captured the top spots on the podium.
The reigning FIVB World Tour men's champions, Mol and Sorum defeated Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland in the two-set Las Vegas finale. It’s the fourth career FIVB World Tour title for each Norwegian and the fourth for the team.
In the women’s final that pitted two teams from Canada for the first time in FIVB World Tour history, Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson won the gold medal over Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan in three sets. It’s the second career FIVB World Tour title for both players and their second together.
The Bandar Anzali podium with presenters
Iran - Bandar Anzali, Iran, October 16-19, 2018, US$5,000, FIVB men's event No. 416
1. Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko, Kazakhstan, $1,000
2. Bahman Salemi/Arash Vakili, Iran, $700
3. Abolhamed Mirzaali/Rahman Raoufi, Iran, $500
4. Alireza Aghajani/Abbas Pourasgari, Iran $400
Gold - Dyachenko/Sidorenko Kazakhstan def. Salemi/Vakili, 20-18 retired (27 minutes)
Bronze - Mirzaali/Raoufi def. Aghajani/Pourasgari, 21-18, 21-17 (41)
The Las Vegas men's podium featuring Poland, Norway and Russia
United States - Las Vegas, Nev., October 16-21, 2018, US$150,000, FIVB men's event No. 417
1. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, Norway, $20,000
2. Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek, Poland, $16,000
3. Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy, Russia, $10,000
4. Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb, United States, $8,000
Gold - Mol/Sorum def. Bryl/Fijalek, 21-13, 21-17 (39)
Bronze - Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy def. Bourne/Crabb, 13-21, 21-18, 18-20 (56)
United States - Las Vegas, Nev., October 16-21, 2018, US$150,000, FIVB women's event No. 381
1. Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson, Canada, $20,000
2. Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan, Canada, $16,000
3. Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado, Brazil, $10,000
4. Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva, Brazil, $8,000
Gold - Bansley/Wilkerson def. Humana-Paredes/Pavan, 21-17, 17-21, 15-9 (60)
Bronze - Antonelli/Carolina def. Rebecca/Ana Patricia, 21-13, 20-17, retired (41)
Canadians and Brazilians fill the Las Vegas women's podium.
Following Chetumal Open where the winning women's team will split the $10,000 first-place prize, the FIVB World Tour concludes the 2018 calendar year with a double-gender one-star event in Ljubljana, Slovenia from November 29 to December 2. The first serve for the 2019 calendar year will be in the Netherlands right after the New Year with a double-gender four-star event in The Hague from January 2 to 6.