Udon Thani, Thailand, February 12, 2020 – All is set for the 2020 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at Wessuwan Sports Stadium, Udon Thani Municipality here, with strong players from across the continent out to prove they are the cream of the crop.

Udon Thani Municipal Mayor Mr Itthipol Treewatanasuwan and Mr Somporn Chaibangyang, President of Thailand Volleyball Association, jointly presided over the General Technical Meeting at Ban Chiang Hotel here on Wednesday. AVC Secretary-General Mr Shanrit Wongprasert also joined the meeting as guest of honour, with all participating teams actively attending.

A total of 53 teams including 30 men’s pairings will test their mettle in the topflight double-gender competition between February 13 and 16 to fight for Asian ranking points and attractive cash prizes.

Following welcome speeches and useful remarks from Mr Itthipol, Mr Somporn and Mr Shanrit, all players heard the team briefing including rules and regulations of the games from Technical Delegate Mr Kritsada Panaseri from Thailand, himself AVC Beach Volleyball Director, and Referee Delegate Mr Jayaraman Srinivasan from India. The briefing was followed by the first-round drawing of lots for both men’s and women’s events.

All participating teams automatically advanced to the main draw since the number of entry in both men’s and women’s events is less than 32 teams. Thirty teams in the men’s event have been split into 8 pools of 4 teams apiece. Only Pool A and Pool B have 3 teams each.

According to the men’s results of the main draw, Thailand 1, China 2 and Singapore are in Pool A, while Pool B features China 1, Japan 3 and Kazakhstan 2. Pool C comprises China 3, Chinese Taipei 2, Kazakhstan 1 and Thailand 4.

Australia 2, New Zealand 1, Iran 1 and Chinese Taipei 3 are in Pool D, with Japan 1, Chinese Taipei 1, Hong Kong China 1 and Laos in Pool E. Pool F features Australia 3, Japan 2, Thailand 3 and Hong Kong China 2. Pool G consists of Iran 3, Thailand 2, New Zealand 2 and Kazakhstan 3, while Australia 1, Iran 2, Hong Kong China 3 and Malaysia in Pool H..

Among 23 teams in the women’s competition, Thailand 1, Hong Kong China 1 and Kazakhstan 1 are in Pool A, while China 2, Thailand 3 and Hong Kong 2 are in Pool B. Pool C comprises China 3, Malaysia 1 and Thailand 4. Japan 1, Australia 1 and Vanuatu 2 are in Pool D, while Pool E comprises Australia 2, Chinese Taipei 2 and Kazakhstan 2. Pool F features Thailand 2, Japan 2 and Malaysia 2. Japan 3, Chinese Taipei 1 and Australia 3 are in Pool G, with Vanuatu 1 and China 1 in Pool H.

All participating teams will contest the pool round-robin preliminaries and at the conclusion of the pool plays, only top two teams from each pool will advance to the next round. Semi-finals, finals and awards presentation will be held on Sunday, February 16.

A total of 14 women’s matches will be contested on Thursday, the very first day of the top-tier competition. Third seeds Wang Xinxin/Xue Chen of China 3 set up a curtain-raising match with Thailand’s Saowaros Tangkaeo/Sumintra Sow at 9.40am local time.

Top-seeds Varapatsorn Radarong/Khanittha Hongpak of Thailand 1, gold medallists at the last year’s Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines, will take on Kazakhstan’s Irina Tsimbalova/Samalikova Bakhtygul before next playing Hong Kong China’s Koo Yung Yung/Au Yeung Wai Yan in the afternoon match on the same day.

Second seeds Wang Fan/Xia Xinyi of China 2, gold medallists at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and silver medallists at the previous Asian meet on home soil in Maoming, also play twice on Thursday. The Chinese duo face Hong Kong China’s To Wing Tung/Kong Cheuk Yee before next taking on Thailand’s Chanthira Khanok/Yodsaphat Pakham in the afternoon encounter.

Fourth seeds Japan’s Megumi Murakami/Miki Ishii will contest their first match agains Vanuatu’s Joe Loti/Majabelle Lawac, while fifth seeds Nicole Laird/Becchara Parmer of Australia 2 will compete against Kazakhs Alina Rachenko/Anastassiya Ukolova.

Sixth seeds Tanarattha Udomchavee/Rumpaipruet Numwong kick off their campaign against Malaysians Yong Jia Tian/Sin Sing Yee in their first match, while 8th-seeds Miller Pata/Sherysyn Toko of Vanuatu will play their first match on Friday as there are only two teams in Pool H, where they are due to challenge China 1’s Wang Jingzhe/Wen Shuhui.

Meanwhile, in the men’s category, 28 matches will take place on Thursday, with top seeds Surin Jongklang/Banlue Nakprakhong of Thailand 1 opening up their home encounter against Singapore’s Shen Fan Yang Mark/Tay Kingsley.

Second seeds Gao Peng/Li Yang of China 1, silver medallists at the previous edition at home in Maoming, take on Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Yakovlev/Sergey Bogatu, while third seeds Wu Jiaxin/Ha Likejiang of China 3, bronze medallists at the previous edition, take on Thailand’s Netitorn Muneekul/Wachirawit Muadpha before next going up against Kazakhs Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko, gold medallists at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, in the afternoon match.

Fourth seeds Christopher McHugh/Damie Schumann of Australia 2, champions at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, take on Chinese Taipei’s Chen You-Ting/Zhang Feng-Ming before next challenging Iran’s Javad Firouzpourbandpei/Alireza Aghajanighasab in the afternoon encounter.

Eighth seeds Cole Durant/Paul Burnett of Australia 1 meet Malaysians Muhammad Zokri Muhammad Aizzat/Saifuddin Bin Raja Hussin Raja Nazmi in their first match before next playing Yeung Pok Man/Chui Kam Lung of Hong Kong China in the afternoon outing.

Seventh seeds Salemiinjehboroun Bahman/Vakili Arash of Iran 3 start their campaign with Kazakhs Alexey Kuleshov/Artem Petrossyants before next playing New Zealand’s Ben O’dea/Sam O’dea in the afternoon.

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