Lausanne, Switzerland, October 7, 2019 – After launching the 34th-season of FIVB-sanctioned beach volleyball events last week in Iran, the World Tour takes a three-week break before staging four tournaments in China, Israel, Qatar and Mexico during a 19-day period.

Nuttanon Inkiew and Sedtawat Padsawud secured Thailand’s third FIVB title on the World Tour by defeating host country favourites Alireza Aghajani/Javad Firouzpourbandpei in the gold medal match this past Friday in Bandar Torkaman, Iran.

Iran – Bandar Torkaman, October 1-4, $5,000, FIVB men’s event No. 459
1. Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud, Thailand, $1,000
2. Alireza Aghajani/Javad Firouzpourbandpei, Iran, $700
3. Bahman Salemi/Arash Vakili, Iran, $500
4. Hitoshi Murakami/Takashi Tsuchiya, Japan, $400
Gold – Nuttanon/Sedtawat def. Aghajani/Firouzpourbandpei, 2-1 (17-21, 21-17, 14-12) (retired) (55 minutes)
Bronze – Salemi/Vakili def. Murakami/Tsuchiya, 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) (39)

NORCECA Continental Championships
While the Bandar Torkaman tournament was the first of five events on the 2019 portion of the 2019-2020 FIVB World Tour calendar, the Dominican Republic was hosting the NORCECA Continental Championships. Teams from the United States bested pairs from Canada and Cuba in the finals.

With the Continental Championships counting towards the ranking to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games, Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings and Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb captured the women’s and men’s gold medals, respectively, along with 600 ranking points with their Sunday wins in Boca Chica.

Sweat and Walsh Jennings, who defeated American rivals Kelly Larsen/Emily Stockman in a three-set semifinals on Sunday morning, posted a 2-0 (21-13, 23-21) gold medal win in 41 minutes over Lidiannis Echeverria/Yanisleidis Sanchez of Cuba.

With the 600 points in Boca Chica being listed among Sweat and Walsh Jennings’ best 12 finishes at FIVB World Tour or Continental Championship events, the Americans improved their provisional point total to 6,900.

Alix Klineman and April Ross are listed as the No. 1 American team on the provisional Olympic list (8,760 points) with Sweat and Walsh Jennings second with a 340-point lead over compatriots Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil and an 860-point advantage over Larsen/Stockman. Only two teams per country qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

In the men’s finale, Crabb and Gibb posted a 2-0 (21-19 21-18) gold medal win in 44 minutes over Canadians Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter.  It was the first international beach volleyball meeting between the two teams since 2017 when Crabb and Gibb netted FIVB wins over their North American rivals at World Tour events in the United States and Croatia.

Three of the last four 2019 events will be double-gender competitions in China (Qinzhou, October 30-November 3), Israel (Tel Aviv, November 6-9) and Mexico (Chetumal, November 13-17).  A men’s only event is set for Qatar from November 12-15 at Doha.

The complete 2019-2020 FIVB World Tour schedule is still being finalized as the 2020 portion of the calendar will be highlighted by qualifying events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through to mid-June. The Summer Games are scheduled for July 25 through August 8 in Tokyo.

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