Langkawi, Malaysia, April 7, 2019 - While Thailand starts this week's FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour schedule on Monday in Satun, the 2019 Langkawi Open begins on Thursday with men's and women's qualifying as the international beach volleyball circuit returns to Malaysia for the third straight season.Quick links - Beach volleyball:
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The US$10,000 Langkawi Open is the first of two FIVB stops in Malaysia this season with the $150,000 Kuala Lumpur Open set to start at the end of April for both men and women. The Langkawi Open main draw starts on Friday with the medal matches on Sunday where the winning teams shared the $1,000 first-place prizes.
The 2019 Langkawi Open features two men's team that have advanced to World Tour final fours this season along with a pair of women's tandems that have captured FIVB gold medals the past two campaigns, including the latest winners Laura Dykstra and Cassie House from the United States.
Last week's women's podium in Cambodia with Greeks, Americans and Japanese.
After qualifying last Thursday for the Anchor Beach Volleyball Carnival main draw in Cambodia, Dykstra and House won five more matches in Battambang highlighted by a two-set gold medal win Sunday over Dimitra Manavi/Konstantina Tsopoulou of Greece.
With Battambang bronze medal winners Satono Ishitsubo/Asami Shiba of Japan also in the Langkawi field, Dykstra and House will again start this week's Malaysia event in the qualifier while the Greek and Japanese pairs begin play on Friday in the main draw.
The top men's team in the Langkawi field in terms of final four finishes this season are Hitoshi Murakami/Takashi Tsuchiya of Japan and Alexey Kuleshov/Artem Petrossyants of Kazakhstan, who will start the week attempting qualifying on Monday in Thailand at Satun.
Alexey Kuleshov and Artem Petrossyants of Kazakhstan
At the start of March, Murakami and Tsuchiya placed fourth at a FIVB stop in India at Visakhapatnam while Kuleshov and Petrossyants finished fourth in early October at the Iranian stop in Bandar Torkaman.
With new champions being crowned this season, past Langkawi winners were Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez of Cuba (2017) and Simon Fruhbauer/Jorg Wutzl of Austria (2018) in the men's bracket and Kim DiCello/Emily Stockman of the United States (2017) and Ksenia Dabizha/Daria Mastikova of Russia (2018) in the women's competition.