Action from the Ulsan final in 2017, won by USA’s Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen against Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee
Ulsan, Korea, July 18, 2018 – Ulsan is ready to host its second event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, as the Tour stays in Korea after stopping in Daegu last week. The first stop in Ulsan was held exactly a year ago. This year’s women-only one-star tournament on Jihna Beach will take place from July 19 through 22.
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Sixteen teams from nine different countries have signed up for the Ulsan Jihna Open. No qualification matches will be held and the tournament will start directly from the main draw, featuring a modified pool play system with the top three teams in each pool progressing into the single elimination stage. The pool winners will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while, for the pool runners-up and third-placed duos, one additional elimination round will take place before the quarters.
Kou and Liu lead the preliminary seeding at Ulsan after winning bronze at Daegu last week
36-year-old Nai-Han Kou and 29-year-old Pi Hsin Liu of Chinese Taipei head the preliminary entry-point seeding. They earned silver at the Jinjiang two-star in early June and bronze just last week at Daegu and will be looking for their third medal on the Tour.
30-year-old Yukako Suzuki and 22-year-old Kaho Sakaguchi are next on the list. For the Japanese pair this will be the seventh appearance on the World Tour. They have one podium finish so far - bronze at the Tuan Chau one-star in May of this year.
Also in the top three in the preliminary seeding are Wai Yan Au Yeung and Ting Chi Yuen. The 30-year-old players from Hong Kong are hoping to earn their first medal on the World Tour. The team have appeared nine times on the Tour with a ninth place as their best result so far.
Three more duos from Japan, one more each from Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong, two pairs each from Korea and Thailand and one each from Canada, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Russia make up the full list of 16 teams expected to start the main draw battles on Thursday.