Women's competition, Shanghai
From 26 May To 30 May 2004

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Women's China Open Kicks Off In Shanghai
SHANGHAI, CHINA, May 26, 2004 - The 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour women's China Open kicked off in Jinshan District of Shanghai on Wednesday morning as teams from Canada and Australia won country-quota play-offs.

Canadians Wanda Guenette and Nancy Gougeon outlasted Bryce Barry and Natalie Lukiw 20-22, 21-17 and 15-7 in 50 minutes to advance to the 32-team Qualification Tournament. Stacey Kloeden and Renae Maycock of Australia joined Guenette and Gougeon in the Qualification Tournament with a 21-15 and 21-16 victory over Larraine Busch/Kaylah Nielsen.

It is the first time that a World Tour event has been held in Jinshan and Shanghai. Located at the north bank of Hangzhou bay, southeast of Shanghai, Jinshan District is composed of 14 towns and one street with a population of 550,000.

With Brazil's world No. 1 tandem Ana Paula and Sandra Pires withdrawing from the $180,000 women's China Open, Tian Jia and Wang Fei will strive to win their third World Tour title together on home soil.

The two-day Qualification Tournament will place the final eight teams in the Main Draw where 24 tandems are confirmed.

Following the Shanghai event, the women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour continues with a stop next week in Japan (June 2-6). Other Olympic qualifying events will be in Switzerland, Germany and Norway.