Nantong, China, May 27, 2019 - Nantong hosts the first of two back-to-back women's international events in China as the city located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River stages an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament for the third straight season.
To be played Thursday through Sunday, the $25,000 Nantong Open is the sixth of nine FIVB World Tour stops in China during the 2018-2019 season. Nantong follows Chinese events in Zhongwei, Qinzhou and Yangzhou last September and October, and 2019 FIVB World Tour tournaments in Xiamen and Jinjiang in April and May.
Following Nantong, which is the 25th women’s event on the 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour calendar, Nanjing hosts the world's elite women's beach volleyball players from June 6-9. The final two Chinese FIVB tournaments on this season’s schedule will be at Qidong and Zhongwei in July and August, respectively.
Headlining the Chinese entrants will be Jingzhe Wang and Shuhui Wen, who captured an FIVB World Tour gold medal earlier this season with a 2-0 (21-14, 26-24) gold medal victory on home sand in Zhongwei over compatriots Fan Wang/Chen Xue in a 39-minute finale September 16 in the third women’s event on the 2018-2019 calendar.
Wen captured the inaugural Nantong Open in June 2017 with Xinyi Xia by defeating compatriots Xinxin Wang/Chen Xue 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) in the 31-minute all-Chinese finale.
Two of the three teams that placed on the second annual Nantong Open podium have entered this year’s event, including silver medal winners Gaia Traballi and Agata Zuccarelli of Italy and bronze medal recipients Phoebe Bell and Jessyka Ngauamo of Australia.
Josemari Alves and Liliane Maestrini of Brazil defeated the Italians twice in the 2018 Nantong Open highlighted by a 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-12) gold medal win over Traballi and Zuccarelli in the 53-minute finale. In pool play, Josemari and Liliane posted a 2-1 (16-21, 21-14, 15-10) victory in 54 minutes over the Italians.
The 2018 Nantong podium featuring Italians, Brazilians and Australians.
Host China’s best placement in the Nantong Open in 2018 was a fifth by Xinxin Wang and Xinyi Xia, who were eliminated by Traballi and Zuccarelli in the quarterfinals. In the bronze medal match, Bell and Ngauamo captured the third spot on the 2018 Nantong podium with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) win in 37 minutes over Ayumi Kusano/Takemi Nishibori of Japan.