Fuzhou, China, April 21, 2015 – USA’s Jennifer Fopma/Summer Ross lead the ranking in the women’s qualification tournament set for April 22 at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Fuzhou Open 2015. The first FIVB tournament of the season 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 $150,000.
Summer/Fopma pair together for the first time in 2015 with both women competing previously in Fuzhou with different partners. They are top of the qualification seeds earning a bye directly into the second round and are joined on their quest for the main draw with fellow Americans Brittany Hochevar/Heather Lee McGuire and Caitlin Ledoux/Irene Hester.
Canada’s Caleigh Whitaker/Kacie MacTavish take a second shot at the Fuzhou Open main draw after narrowly missing out last year, while Germany’s new pairing of Victoria Bieneck/Yanina Weiland also aim for a positive start to the season.
China has three teams in the qualification tournament with Wang Yuanyuan/Tang Ningya, Chen Chunxia/Wei Zhaochen and Wang Xinxin/Ding Jingjing and Japan has entered five teams.
For those who progress to the women’s main draw, this year sees the return of Fuzhou 2014 champions Kerri Walsh/April Ross. A strong Chinese contingent is also present including Fan Wang/Yuan Yue and Fuzhou 2013 winner Chen Xue with her young partner Xinyi Xia. The women’s main draw gets underway on 23 April.
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.