Budapest, Hungary, August 10, 2019 – Francesca Kirwan and Olivia MacDonald remain on course for their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medals after they reached the Budapest 1-Star semifinals on Saturday.
The New Zealand duo beat Italy’s Chiara They and Claudia Scampoli 2-1 (23-21, 8-21, 15-13) to ensure that they have at least bettered their previous World Tour best which were three quarterfinal finishes.
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The Kiwis will take on Chiyo Suzuki and Yurika Sakaguchi after the Japanese pair defeated Austria’s Dorina Klinger and Ronja Klinger 2-1 (14-21, 21-18, 15-11). Chiyo and Sakaguchi are chasing their first World Tour gold of the year having already won one silver and three bronze in 2019.
The Hungarian capital is hosting a World Tour tournament for the first time and it is taking place in a 1,000-seater arena at Lupa Beach which is located 20 minutes from the centre of Budapest. The winning teams in Budapest will collect the €1,000 first-place prizes and claim 200 Tokyo 2020 Olympic points.
The other semifinal pits Daria Mastikova and Polina Tsyganova against Emi van Driel and Raïsa Schoon.
Russian youngsters Mastikova and Tsyganova are playing in their first World Tour tournament together and they maintained their progress with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) win over Japan’s Mai Morioka and Riko Tsujimura.
Van Driel and Raïsa Schoon of the Netherlands won gold at the Gothenburg and Alba Adriatica 1-Star tournaments earlier in the year and they are in line for another podium finish after defeating Slovakia’s Nina Lovsin and Tajda Lovsin 2-0 (21-8, 21-19).