Lausanne, Switzerland, April 29, 2019 - With Malaysia hosting its second FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event this season, the Port Dickson Beach Open event for men and women will feature the final weekend of qualifying for the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
An inaugural event, the US$150,000 Port Dickson Open starts on Tuesday with qualifying where eight teams per gender will advance to Wednesday's main draw pool play schedule. The elimination rounds start on Thursday with the medal matches on Saturday where the winning pairs will share the $10,000 first-place prizes.
Staged in the Malaysia coastal town, an hour by car from Kuala Lumpur, the event is the last before the May 6 deadline to determine 23 men's and 23 women's teams from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that will qualify for the June 28-July 7 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.
While most of the teams qualifying through the FIVB Entry Ranking are almost set from the international circuit, Brazilian men's tandems still have a chance to gain a spot in the FIVB World Championships where the 48-team fields will also include continental qualifiers (20 berths) and host country (two berths) and wild card (three berths) entries.FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships - Qualification
With a maximum entries per country at the FIVB World Championships being four pairs per nation, the fourth Brazilian spot could be added in Malaysia. The 23 World Championships entrants from the World Tour are based on a team's best four finishes from its last six World Tour events as of May 6, 2019.
Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho in action in Xiamen
The Brazilian teams (Andre Loyola/George Wanderley and Alison Cerutti/Alvaro Filho) in Port Dickson will be seeking to pass pairs from Brazil, Belgium, Canada and Russia on the FIVB entry list to gain final berths allotted to the FIVB World Tour for the World Championships that return to Germany for the second time with Berlin hosting the event in 2005.
Belgium's Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle, who are not competing in Port Dickson, are currently tied with Andre/George for the 22nd spot on the FIVB entry list with 1,880 points. Alison and Alvaro are 50 points behind with 1,830 points their best four of six finishes.
In addition to Koekelkoren and van Walle, other teams on the bubble for FIVB World Tour berths for the World Championships are Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter of Canada (1,980), Nikita Liamin/Igor Velichko of Russia (1,960) and Saymon Barbosa/Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes of Brazil (1,860).
Andre captured the 2017 FIVB World Championships in Vienna with Evandro Goncalves, who is currently teamed with 2015 Olympic and world champion Bruno Oscar Schmidt. Evandro and Bruno are currently ranked 19th with 2,100 - with compatriots Vitor Felipe/Pedro Solberg the top Brazilian entry for the 2019 FIVB World Championships with 2,120 points to tie Austrians Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst for the 17th spot.
In FIVB World Tour action last week in Xiamen, China, Russia's Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy captured their second men’s gold medal this season after winning the first event on the 2019 World Tour calendar in the Netherlands on January 6.
In the women's competition, Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva claimed their third gold medal for the 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour season and their second at a Chinese event after the Brazilian pair topped the podium in October at Qinzhou. Rebecca and Ana Patricia also shared the spotlight in January with Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy as the Brazilians claimed the title in The Hague.
Ana Patricia Silva (left) and Rebecca Cavalcanti with their gold medals in The Hague
In winning his fifth World Tour gold medal, Krasilnikov captured the Xiamen title on the day he celebrated his 28th birthday as he becomes the eighth player to top a podium on his or her birthday. Others include Brazilians Roberto Lopes (Jakarta 1996), Rogerio 'Para' Ferreira (Los Angeles 1997), Juliana Felisberta (St. Petersburg 2006), Talita Antunes (The Hague 2010 and Olsztyn 2015), American Misty May-Treanor (Paris 2005), Latvian Janis Smedins (Klagenfurt 2016) and Canadian Brandie Wilkerson (Warsaw 2018).
Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia
Joining Krasilnikov in winning an FIVB medal on his birthday was 24-year old Ahmen Tijan, who captured a Xiamen bronze for Qatar with Cherif Samba. A total of 14 players have now captured World Tour medals on their birthday as Talita has accomplished the feat three times (The Hague 2009 silver) and Para twice (1998 Alanya bronze). Other birthday celebrators on an FIVB podium were Americans Tim Hovland (Rio de Janeiro 1991 silver) and Todd Rogers (Fortaleza 2007 silver), Brazilian Leila Barros (Vitória 2006 silver), China's Fei Wang (Klagenfurt 2005 bronze) and German David Klemperer (Paris 2008 bronze),
China - Xiamen, April 23-28, $150,000, FIVB men's event No. 428
1. Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy, Russia, $20,000
2. Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera, Spain, $16,000
3. Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan, Qatar, $10,000
4. Adrian Carambula/Enrico Rossi, Italy, $8,000
Gold - Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy def. Gavira/Herrera, 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) (35 minutes)
Bronze - Samba/Tijan def. Carambula/Rossi, 2-1 (13-21, 21-15, 15-10) (46)
The Xiamen Open podium with presenters
China - Xiamen, April 23-28, $150,000, FIVB women's event No. 392
1. Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva, Brazil, $20,000
2. Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova, Czech Republic, $16,000
3. Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy, Australia, $10,000
4. Sara Hughes/Summer Ross, United States, $8,000
Gold - Rebecca/Ana Patricia def. Hermannova/Slukova, 2-0 (25-23, 26-24) (42)
Bronze - Artacho/Clancy def. Hughes/Ross, 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) (31)
Following the Port Dickson Open, the FIVB World completes a three-week stay in Asia from May 9-12 with a women's-only stop on Tuan Chau Island in Vietnam followed by double gender tournaments in Brazil (Itapema, May 15-19) and Turkey (Aydin, May 16-19).
May wraps up back in Asia with double-gender events in China (Jinjiang, May 22-26) and the Philippines (Boracay, May 23-26) before returning to Europe for the Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic starting May 20 and concluding June 2.