Lausanne, Switzerland, June 11, 2018 - Ten-straight weeks of international competition featuring 17 double gender events and three women's only tournaments begins this week as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour's 2017-2018 season continues with stops in China and Austria.
The US$50,000 Silk Road Tangshan Open starts Thursday with the women's-only qualifying with the opening Main Draw rounds Friday leading to Sunday's medal matches where the winning team will split the $8,000 first-place prize. The $8,850 Baden Open for both men and women also starts Thursday with qualifiers with the final matches Sunday where the podium-topping pairs share the $1,770 gold medal rewards.
The Nanjing event marks the return of the FIVB World Tour to the Chinese city where the 2014 Youth Olympics and the 2017 under-21 World Championships were held. Nanjing will also host the 2018 FIVB Under-19 World Championships July 10-15. The Silk Road Tangshan Open is the fifth of six FIVB World Tour events in China on the 2017-2018 international calendar.
The Baden Open is the third of nine events incorporated from the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) schedule into the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour for the 2017-2018 season. Turkey hosted the first two events in Aydin (May 17-20) and Alanya (May 31-June 3)
In addition to the Aydin, Alanya and Baden events, CEV tournaments being incorporated into the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour schedule are Manavgat, Turkey (June 21-24), Anapa, Russia (July 5-8), Porec, Croatia (July 5-8), Samsun, Turkey (July 26-29), Ljubljana, Slovenia (August 3-5), and Vaduz, Liechtenstein (August 8-12).
All the final four teams from last week's FIVB Chinese event in Nantong will be competing in this week's Silk Road Tangshan Open led by gold medal winners Josemari Alves/Liliane Maestrini of Brazil. Other Nantong final 4 teams competing in Nanjing are Gaia Traballi/Agata Zuccarelli of Italy, Phoebe Bell/Jessyka Ngauamo of Australia and Ayumi Kusano/Takemi Nishibori of Japan.
Brazil collected its 163rd gold medal on the World Tour since the start of FIVB-sanctioned women's events in August 1992 as Josi and Lili defeated Traballi and Zuccarelli in the three-set finals of the Silk Road Nantong Open Sunday. Josi and Lili become the 28th women's team from Brazil to win a FIVB World Tour gold medal as the South America country has a 4-0 title match mark versus the Italian women.
China - Nantong, June 7-10, 2018, $25,000, FIVB Women's Event No. 354
1. Josemari Alves/Liliane Maestrini, Brazil, $4,000
2. Gaia Traballi/Agata Zuccarelli, Italy, $3,000
3. Phoebe Bell/Jessyka Ngauamo, Australia, $2,000
4. Ayumi Kusano/Takemi Nishibori, Japan, $1,400
Gold - Josemari/Liliane def. Traballi/Zuccarelli, 21-13, 19-21, 15-12 (53)
Bronze - Bell/Ngauamo def. Kusano/Nishibori, 21-17, 21-18 (37)
Josemari Alves (left) and Liliane Maestrini of Brazil
Following this week's events, the FIVB World Tour ends June with double-gender tournaments in the Czech Republic (Ostrava, June 20-24), Singapore (June 21-14), Turkey (Manavgat, June 21-24) and Poland (Warsaw, June 27-July 1).