Sentosa, Singapore, June 20, 2018 - For only the second-time in the 32-season history of sanctioned FIVB Beach Volleyball play, Singapore will host a World Tour event with men’s and women’s play starting here on Thursday in the $50,000 Singapore Open presented by Neo Group.
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The only FIVB event played in Singapore was in May 2007 with a women’s-only event. Pairs from Brazil and China dominated the final four matches where Talita Antunes/Renata Ribeiro from the South American country defeated the Asian pair of Jia Tian/Jie Wang for the gold medal. Fifteen months later at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games, Tian/Wang defeated Talita/Renata in the semifinals.
Chasing the Mikasa is Renata Ribeiro (diving) with China's Jie Wang (left) and Brazilian partner Talita Antues following the action.
The Singapore Open is one of three FIVB World Tour events being staged this week with qualifying play being played Wednesday in Turkey (Manavgat) and the Czech Republic (Ostrava). Entering this week’s play, the FIVB had staged 25 men’s and 24 women’s World tour events so far on the 2017-2018 international calendar.
Men’s and women’s qualifying launches the Singapore Open with competition being held in Sentosa here Thursday where six teams from each gender’s division advancing to Friday’s money rounds where pool play will be featured on Siloso Beach. Elimination play will be staged Saturday to set the field for Sunday’s final four matches where the winning teams will share the $4,000 first-place prizes.
Led by the Japanese women’s team of Suzuka Hashimoto/Sayaka Mizoe, the Singapore Open features nine pairs that have captured gold medals earlier this season on the FIVB World Tour. Hashimoto and Mizoe topped FIVB podiums in Vietnam (Tuan Chau Island, May 12) and China (Jinjiang, June 3).
Japan's Suzuka Hashimoto (left) and Sayaka Mizoe
Other women’s 2017-2018 gold medal winners in the Singapore Open Main Draw are Anna Behlen/Sarah Schneider, of Germany (Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 6), Ayumi Kusano /Takemi Nishibori of Japan (Manila, Philippines, May 6) and Ksenia Dabizha/Daria Mastikova of Russia (Langkawi, Malaysia, April 29).
Men’s podium-topping pairs from earlier this season in the Singapore Open main round are Simon Fruhbauer/Jorg Wutzl of Austria (Langkawi, Malaysia, April 29), Yusuke "Gottsu" Ishijima/Takumi Takahashi of Japan (Bangkok, Thailand, May 13), Jan Pokersnik/Nejc Zemljak of Slovenia (Montpellier, France, September 9, 2017) and Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud of Thailand (Satun, Thailand, April 11).
Nejc Zemljak (left) and Jan Pokersnik at the Montpellier Open