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Eight teams advance at Phuket FIVB beach volleyball tourney



PHUKET: Eight teams from six countries advanced from today’s two-round qualification tournament to the 32-team main draw of the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour.

This is the sixth time in Thailand has hosted the women’s season-ending US$190,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Phuket Thailand Open powered by PTT at Karon Beach.

Filling the final eight main draw spots are two teams each from China and Japan along with one team each from Italy, Finland, Latvia and Netherlands.

China’s two teams who today qualified for the women’s main draw are Huang/Yue and Ma/Zhang.

The winning teams from Japan are Nishibori/Urata and Mizoe/Tanaka.

The additional four teams include sisters Emilia and Erika Nystrom of Finland, Italy’s Giombini/Orsi Toth, Latvia’s Jursone/Minusa, and Netherland’s Mooren/van der Vlist.

Playing in their first tournament together, Ma/Zhang defeated two Canadian teams to advance to the main draw.

In the morning, Ma/Zhang lost the first set, but fought back to defeat Canada’s Victoria Altomare/Caleigh Whitaker in three sets, 14-21, 21-11 and 15-9 in a 45-minute match.

Ma, 21, and Zhang, just 15 years old, consolidated that first win with an impressive victory over the veteran Canadian team of Marie-Andree Lessard/Annie Martin in two sets, 23-21, 21-16 taking just 40 minutes to do so.

“We were so nervous when we first started playing today it was very hard to work together,” said Zhang.

Another surprise package is Italy’s 14th-seeded Laura Giombini/Viktoria Orsi Toth, who advanced with a brace of wins over teams from Canada and Georgia.

The Italians are the lowest-seeded team to qualify for the main draw.

They first beat Canada’s Jamie Lynn Broder/Kristina Valjas, 21-12, 21-14 in 34 minutes and then had to battle from a set down to defeat third seeds, Cristine Santanna/Andrezza Martins from Georgia, 13-21, 24-22 and 15-13 in 49 minutes

As host nation,Thailand’s three teams have all been seeded into the main draw.

The Thai pairings are Kamoltip Kulna/Varapatsorn Radarong, Jarunee Sannok/Usa Tenpaksee and Tanarattha Udomchavee/Rumpaipruet Numwong.

A total of 53 teams from 26 countries are competing in the Phuket tourney, including Australia (3 teams), Austria (1), Belgium (1), Brazil (3), Canada (4), China (3), Czech Republic (2), Finland (1), France (1), Georgia (1), Germany (2), Great Britain (2), Greece (1), Italy (3), Japan (3), Kazakhstan (4), Latvia (1), Malaysia (2), Mexico (1), Netherlands (3), Russia (1), Slovak Republic (1), Spain (2), Thailand (3), Ukraine (1), and United States (3).

The Phuket Gazette is a charter sponsor of the 2011 Swatch World Tour Phuket, Thailand Open powered by PTT.

Entry for spectators is free.


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