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Thais miss out as FIVB tourney begins

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KARON: The world’s top women’s beach volleyball players took to the sands today as part of the Swatch FIVB Beach Volley World Tour 2007.

After a closely-fought battle, Thais Manerat Udomchavee and Julaluk Radarong narrowly missed out on a place in the second qualifying round after losing 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-12) to Dutch pairing Sanne Keizer and Mered de Vries.

In hot form today, Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler from Germany eased their way through the qualification stages with two straight 2-0 wins, overcoming opponents from Malaysia and Spain in a little over 30 minutes in each match.

After the two qualifying rounds today, the first round of main competition will start off tomorrow at 9 am. Thailand will be represented two teams: Kamoltip Kulna and Yupa Phokongploy, and Usa Tenpaksee and Jarunee Sannok.

The tournament, which features almost 62 teams from 26 countries, is being hosted in Phuket for the second time.

Among those in contention for the title are the current world champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh from the US and Chinese duo Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, who were Swatch FIVB champions last year.

Ranked number two in the world are fellow Chinese Tian Jia and Wang Jie, who will be looking to win the Phuket tourney, as will teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Cuba and France.

The tournament, being held on Karon Beach, will culminate with the final on Sunday. There are four match courts and one practice court, with the center-court stands able to accommodate up to 4,000 spectators.

Entrance is free and the semi-finals and final will be broadcast internationally by Eurosport on November 3 and 4 between 4 pm and 6 pm.

The total prize purse up for grabs stands at US$200,000 (about eight million baht).

For more information call 02-3823491 or visit www.pentanglepromotions.com

Tournament schedule:

November 1: Main draw for the first and second round. Play starts 9 am.

November 2: Quarter finals. Play starts 9 am.

November 3: Semi finals. Play starts 4 pm.

November 4: Final and third-place playoff. Play starts 4 pm.

 

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