Songkhla, Thailand, April 13, 2015 – Kazakhstan 1’s Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko and Japan 1’s Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe, fresh from capturing the respective men’s and women’s titles at the last week’s AVC Beach Volleyball Tour in Thungsong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, are top seeds in their categories in the 16th “Samila-Chang” AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Thailand-Samila Open, which will be held at the Samila Beach here from April 14 to 16.
After making a great success in hosting two beach volleyball tournaments early this month comprising the AVC Continental Cup Zonal Championships South East Asia in Nong Khai and the AVC Beach Volleyball Tour in Thungsong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand is now ready to host the third beach volleyball event in Songkla.
Thirty-five men’s teams from 20 countries and 23 women’s teams from 14 nations have confirmed their participation in the three-day, double-gender tournament, vying for the top honours and the shared US$30,000 cash prize. Participating countries comprise hosts Thailand, Japan, Kazakhstan, Vanuatu, China, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Qatar, Iran, Oman, the Philippines, India and Maldives.
In the men’s category, a total of 35 teams will be divided into 12 pools of three teams each from Pool A to Pool L, except Pool A, which will feature only two teams, Kazakhstan 1 and Papua New Guinea. The women’s event sees all 23 teams split into eight pools of three teams apiece from Pool A to Pool H, except Pool A, which comprises Japan 1 and Vietnam 1.
Like the last week’s Thungsong meet, teams’ accumulated points have been taken into consideration for seedings, which saw Kazakhstan 1’s Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko, gold medallists at the last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea and winners at the Thungsong meet, emerge as top seeds. China 1’s Wu Jiaxin/Li Lian, silver medallists in Thungsong, are second seeds, followed by Kazakhstan 2’s Dmitriy Yakovlev/Alexey Kuleshov and China 1’s Ha Likejiang/Bao Jian. Australia 1’s Joshua Court/Damien Schumann are fifth seeds, with Qatar 2’s Cherif Younousse/Jefferson Santos Pereira being sixth seeds.
In the women’s event, Japan 1’s Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe, winners at the last week’s Thungsong meet, are top seeds, while Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee, defending champions here and silver medallists at the last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea and the Asian Beach Games on home soil in Phuket, are second seeds. Asian Beach Games gold medallists Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan, are third seeds, with Vanuatu’s Miller Pata/Linin Matauatu runners-up in Thungsong, being fourth seeds.
The pool play starts on Tuesday. Only top teams from each pool will emerge as the standing teams in the knock-out round, with teams finishing second and third places drawn in that elimination round.
On the opening day, top seeds Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoe of Japan 1 receive the first-round bye, while second seeds Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee of Thailand 1 take on Hong Kong 2’s To Wing Tung and Koo Yung Yung. Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova play Indonesia 2’s Purari Eka Yokebed/Maria Dwiningtyas in the first round, with Vanuatu’s Miller Pata/Linlin Matauatu pitted against China 2’s Wang Xinxin and Ding Jingjing.
In the men’s category, Papua New Guinea 2’s Richard Batari/Ake Walo receive the first-round bye, but they will face a daunting task in the next match against top seeds Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko of Kazakhstan 1. Thailand 2’s Panupong Toyam/Nuttanon Inkiew will kick off their campaign with India 1’s Naresh Tumpera/Raju Mudunuri Chalapathi Krishnam to next go up against second seeds China 2’s Wu Jiaxin/Li Jian in their second encounter.