Thungsong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, April 8, 2015 – Beach spikers from across Asia will strut their stuff in the 6th “Nakhon Si-Chang-Select” AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Thailand Nakhon Si Open between April 9 and 11 at the makeshift venues inside the Thungsong Football Pitch.
A total of 57 teams from 20 countries including 14 women’s sides will be divided into pools comprising Pool A to Pool H in the women’s event and Pool A to Pool L in the men’s competition. The pool play will be contested on Thursday, with the single elimination being held the following day. At the completion of the pool plays on Thursday, the top team from each pool will move up to the knock-out round, while the respective runners-up will be drawn to play in that round.
Teams’ accumulated points have been taken into consideration for seedings in both the men’s and women’s events.
Hosts Thailand fielded three teams apiece in both the men’s and women’s categories. Aside from players from the host country, the other participating nations include China, Japan, Qatar, Iran, Oman, Vanuatu, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea and Maldives.
In the women’s category, Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova, who reigned supreme in the 4th Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand last year, are top seeds, followed by Japan 1’s Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoe. Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee, current world No.61 who clinched silver medal at the last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea and the Asian Beach Games in Phuket, are third seeds. The Thai tandem finished a disappointing fourth place here the previous year, but have their sights firmly set on the improved fortunes this time at home.
Vanuatu’s Elvin Miller and Latika Henriette stamped their class here last year, but did not join the competition this time. Miller Pata, who teamed up with Linline Mansale to capture the last year’s Asian Tour in Hong Kong, came up to defend Vanuatu’s title with new partner Linlin Matauatu. The Vanuatu’s pairing are fourth seeds, with Thailand 2’s Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak being fifth seeds.
In the men’s competition, Kazakhstan 1’s Alexandr Dyachenko and Alexey Sidorenko, who claimed gold at the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea but finished second in the Asian Tour here last year, are top seeds this time. China 2’s Wu Jiaxin and Li Jian, who teamed up with Chen Cheng to clinch silver in Inchoen, are second seeds, with Kazakhstan 2’s Dimitriy Yakovlev and Alexey Kuleshov being the third seeds.
China 1’s Ha Likejiang and Bao Jian, bronze medallists at the last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, are fourth seeds.
The General Technical Meeting took place on Wednesday at the Grand Southern Hotel in Thungsong, with AVC Sports Events Committee and AVC Secretary-General chairman Shanrit Wongprasert presiding. To mark the beginning of the Water Festival in Thailand, participating players in the Wednesday evening splashed/pour water at control committee members and Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Governor Peerasak Hinmuangkao as part of the cleansing ritual to welcome the Thai New Year.
The pool play starts on Thursday, with Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova taking on Indonesia 2’s Purari Eka Yokebed and Maria Dwiningtyas in the women’s event. Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radaong and Tanarattha Udomchavee face Hong Kong 2’s To Wing Tung and Koo Yung Yung, while Vanuatu’s Miller Pata and Linlin Matauatu play China 2’s Wang Xinxin and Ding Jijngjing.
In the men’s event, Sri Lanka’s Asanka Madagedara Lekamalage and Pubudu Ekanayakaage will be pitted against Thailand 2’s Panupong Toyam and Nuttanon Inkiew in the curtain-raisers. Hong Kong 2’s Wong Pui Lam and Lau Tsz Ho take on Australia 2’s Maximilian Guehree and Zachery Schubert and Vietnam 2’s Nguyen Ba Truong Dang and Nguyen Ngoc Quy play Maldives’ Abdul Wahid Shiunaz and Anil Naseer Ahmed.