Fuzhou, China, April 20, 2015 – The 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour kicks off tomorrow with the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Fuzhou Open 2015 where top seeded qualifiers, Canada’s Sam Pedlow/Grant O'Gorman will vie for a position in the main draw. The season opening men’s qualification tournament on April 21 also opens the Olympic qualification window for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
In its third consecutive year, the FIVB Fuzhou Open is the first double-gender FIVB Open event of the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar with a prize purse of US$150,000.
Ready for action
Canada’s Pedlow/O'Gorman enter their third year as a team and enter Fuzhou for the second time. The pair will be hoping for similar luck in Fuzhou after achieving their best result here last year climbing up to ninth.
Aleksandrs Solovejs from Latvia also just missed out on a final eight place last year and along with partner Ruslans Sorokins, this pair play in their first international tournament together.
William Montgomery/Jeremy Casebeer (USA) compete in only their fifth FIVB Open after the pair got together in the second half of 2014. Their best result was at Argentina’s Parana Open where they just missed out on the final four.
Isreal’s Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman have also chosen Fuzhou to open their season. After a couple of fifth place finishes last year they will aim to reach the main draw after falling short at Fuzhou 2014.
China will be represented by Likejiang Ha/Jian Bao and Peng Gao/Yang Li in the qualification tournament with all but Yan Li having competed in Fuzhou before.
Fuzhou 2015 contenders
Christiaan Varenhorst was last year’s Fuzhou Open gold medallist and returns in 2015 with new partner Reinder Nummerdor. The pair wasted little time in proving their strength, winning Sao Paulo Grand Slam and Manguang Open last year and will go for another rush at gold entering the main draw as top seeds.
The women’s qualification tournament takes place on April 22 when top seeded qualifiers Caleigh Whitaker/Kacie MacTavish from Canada will play for a spot in the main draw after missing out last year in Fuzhou.
The women’s main draw sees the return of Fuzhou 2014 champions Kerri Walsh/April Ross. The US pair will be met with a strong Chinese contingent with the home advantage including Fan Wang/Yuan Yue and Fuzhou 2013 winner Chen Xue with her young partner Xinyi Xia.
The Fuzhou Open is held at the purpose built venue in the city’s Mianjiang Riverside Park. China has hosted a total of 49 FIVB World Tour events and the second Chinese stop on the 2015 calendar will be the double-gender event FIVB Xiamen Open scheduled for September 22 to 27.
The gold medal teams in each gender at the FIVB Fuzhou Open will each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500. The men’s medal matches will be held on Saturday and the women’s medal matches will be held on Sunday.