Fuzhou Open champion April Ross returns to China as Qinzhou Open gets underway
April Ross (left) won the 2016 Fuzhou Open with Kerri Walsh.
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With Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross of the United States seeded No.1 in the women's action, American April Ross, who had claimed the title in Fuzhou last year before winning a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games with Kerri Walsh Jennings, is going to play in Qinzhou with her new partner Kelly Claes while Lauren Fendrick will work with Nicole Branagh after taking the silver at the World Championships in Vienna in August with April Ross.
The maiden Qinzhou Open will also feature home medal hopefuls Wang Fan and Xia Xinyi. Following her triumph with Yue Yuan at the Chinese National Games, Wang started cooperation with the 20-year-old Xia.
In the men’s competitions, Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle of Belgium, Qatar’s Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse will be among the medal contenders.
A new block touch rule will be tested as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumes in Qinzhou, China from October 11 to 15. The rule to be tested allows three touches after a block like in indoor volleyball where the block does not count as one of the three hits allowed to a team to return the ball.
The test aims to identify the effects of modifying the block touch rule in beach volleyball. Analysis will focus on the new rule’s effect on rally length. Its impact on making the sport even more spectacular will also be examined as part of the FIVB’s ongoing efforts to ensure the continued growth of the sport worldwide.
The event in Qinzhou, China is the second stop in a new season of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, following the men’s-only tournament in Montpellier, France at the beginning of September. It will be followed by tournaments in Aalsmeer, Netherlands from October 25 to 29 and in Sydney, Australia from November 22 to 26.
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