Satono Ishitsubo (right) celebrates a point with Japanese partner Asami Shiba at last season's Olympic test event in Tokyo.
Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 5, 2020 - Led by two-time FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event winners Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba of Japan, the first women's event of the 2020 calendar begins here Thursday at the US$25,000 Anchor Beach Volleyball Carnival.
Seeded second in the 15-team qualifier where six teams will advance to Friday's main draw pool play schedule, Ishitsubo and Shiba secured FIVB gold medals the past two seasons at World Tour events in June 2018 at Manavgat, Turkey and May 2019 at Boracay, the Philippines.
The Japanese pair also secured World Tour bronze medals during the 2018-2019 FIVB season in Hungary (Siofok) and Cambodia (Battambang). The Anchor Beach Volleyball Carnival also marks Ishitsubo and Shiba's 19th World Tour event together.
Three other pairs with World Tour gold medals are also entered in the Anchor Beach Volleyball Carnival and will play their first matches Friday. Nai-Han Kou/Pi Hsin Liu of Chinese Taipei are two-time FIVB winners with the teams of Nicole Laird/Becchara Palmer of Australia, Alexandra Moiseeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva of Russia and Yurika Sakaguchi/Chiyo Suzuki of Japan topping World Tour podiums once each.
Pi Hsin Liu of Chinese Taipei competing last July at the Tokyo Olympic test event.
The fourth women's event on the 2019-2020 FIVB World Tour schedule, the Anchor Beach Volleyball Carnival concludes Saturday with two elimination rounds followed by Sunday's semifinal and medal matches. The winning team will share the $4,000 first-place prize.
Siem Reap is hosting the women's FIVB World Tour for the first time after staging a men's only event in 2019. Phnom Penh (2018 and 2019) and Battambang (2019) have been the site for previous women's World Tour stops in Cambodia where pairs from Germany, Greece and the United States have topped the podiums.
A total of 33 women’s teams from 17 countries are entered into the Anchor Beach Volleyball Carnival at Siem Reap (as of February 2, 2020), including pairs from Australia (2 teams), Austria (1), Cambodia (2), Canada (1), Chinese Taipei (2), Cyprus (1), Denmark (2), Germany (1), Israel (1), Japan (4), Russia (1), Slovenia (1), Switzerland (1), Thailand (4), Ukraine (2), United States (5) and Vanuatu (2).
Following Siem Reap, the next World Tour women's event is March 5-8 in Guam (March 5-8) followed by stops in Malaysia (March 12-15 at Langkawi), Australia (March 18-22 at Coolangatta) and Mexico (March 25-29 at Cancun).
The men resume play February 20-23 with a Cambodian stop in Phnom Penh. The men will also compete in Malaysia, Australia and Mexico in March, along with single-gender stops in Iran (March 3-7 at Bandar Abbas) and Qatar (March 12-15 at Doha).