Lausanne, Switzerland, April 22, 2019 - For the seventh-straight season, the FIVB World Tour returns to Xiamen as the southeast China port city on the Taiwan Straits hosts the planet's elite beach volleyball teams at Guanyinshan Beach in the Siming District.
With the qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in progress, the US$300,000 Xiamen Open is one of the top point-producing events on the schedule with the winning teams securing 800 points for finishing atop the podium.
The Xiamen Open is the fourth of nine events to be hosted by China on the 2018-2019 international beach volleyball calendar. After staging FIVB events in Zhongwei, Qinzhou and Yangzhou last September and October, China will stage 2019 World Tour events in Jinjiang, Nantong, Nanjing, Qidong and Zhongwei after Xiamen in May, June, July and August.
Men's and women's teams from Brazil, Canada, France, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States have captured gold medals at the Xiamen Open. While the past two Xiamen women's gold medal teams are entered in the 2019 field, a new men's champion will be crowned as 2018 winners Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko are playing with new Russian partners this year.
The Brazilian women's team of Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas captured the 2017 Xiamen Open title with the Canadian pair of Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan topping the 2018 podium. Past Xiamen men's winners Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States (2015), Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain (2016) and Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands (2017) are also entered this year.
2018 Xiamen women's winners - Humana-Paredes and Pavan of Canada
In FIVB action this past weekend in Göteborg where Sweden hosted its first-ever World Tour event, the teams of Raisa Schoon/Emi van Driel of the Netherlands and Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Pavel Piatrushka of Belarus topped the men's and women's podium's, respectively.
Göteborg gold medal winners (left to right), van Driel, Dziadkou, Schoon and Piatrushka.
With a combined age of 36 years, 4 months and 28 days, the 17-year old Schoon and 18-year old van Driel became the youngest men's or women's team to win an FIVB World Tour gold medal as the Dutch team defeated Ukrainian twins Inna and Iryna Makhno in two sets.
Sweden - Göteborg, April 18-21, €5,000, FIVB women's event No. 391
1. Raisa Schoon/Emi van Driel, Netherlands, €1,000
2. Inna Makhno/Iryna Makhno, Ukraine, €700
3. Victoria Kjolberg/Ane Tveit Hjortland, Norway, €500
4. Katja Stam/Julia Wouters, Netherlands, €400
Gold - Schoon/van Driel def. Makhnos, 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) (31 minutes)
Bronze - Kjolberg/Hjortland def. Stam/Wouters, 2-1 (21-14, 18-21, 17-15) (51)
Göteborg women's podium
Dziadkou and Piatrushka won their second FIVB World Tour gold medal in two tries this season by defeating Latvia’s Haralds Regza/Toms Smedins 2in two sets. The Belarus pair captured their first World Tour gold medal this past December in Slovenia at Ljubljana.
Sweden - Göteborg, April 18-21, €5,000, FIVB men's event No. 427
1. Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Pavel Piatrushka, Belarus, €1,000
2. Haralds Regza/Toms Smedins, Latvia, €700
3. Selcuk Sekerci/Sefa Urlu, Turkey, €500
4. Alexander Annerstedt/Martin Appelgren, Sweden, €400
Gold - Dziadkou/Piatrushka def. Regza/Smedins, 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) (30)
Bronze - Sekerci/Urlu def. Annerstedt/Appelgren, 2-0 (21-13, 21-14) (31)
Göteborg men's podium
Following the Xiamen Open, the FIVB World Tour hosts its second stop this season in Malaysia from April 30 to May 4 in Kuala Lumpur for a $150,000 event featuring men's and women's competitions.
The international circuit completes a three-week stay in Asia from May 9-12 for a women's-only stop on Tuan Chau Island in Vietnam followed by double gender tournaments in Brazil (Itapema, May 15-19) and Turkey (Aydin, May 16-19).