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

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Ahmann & Vollmer Outlast Finnish Twins for Women's China Open Main Draw
SHANGHAI, CHINA, May 27, 2004 - Andrea Ahmann and Jana Vollmer of Germany outlasted Erika Nystrom and Emilia Nystrom of Finland to reach the Main Draw of the 2004 Swatch-FIVB World Tour Women's China Open in Jinshan District of Shanghai on Thursday morning.

Ahmann and Vollmer, top seeds in the 32-team Qualification Tournament, started strongly by taking the opening set 21-11. The Finnish twin sisters pulled away from a 17-16 lead to clinch the second set 21-17, forcing a tiebreaker won by Ahmann and Vollmer 15-5.

"After the victory in the first set, we kindly of lost concentration in the second," said Ahmann, who finished ninth in the Greece Open last week with Vollmer. "We pushed again in the third and won through."

"I am glad to qualify for the Main Draw, because the players (in World Tour) are playing better and better and games becoming more and more difficult," Ahmann added. "We will be happy if we can get a ninth finish again here."

Chinese 28th seeds Sun Jing and Han Bo, surprising winners over fifth seeds Virginie Kadjo and Ethel-Julie Arjona of France in Wednesday's first round qualification matches, were stopped by Kadjo and Arjona's compatriots Claire Jaouen and Tatiana Riera.

"We are happy to qualify for the Main Draw for the first time this season," said Riera. "We were even happier because we beat the team which had eliminated Kadjo and Arjona."

Fourth seeds Esteves Ribalta and Milagros Crespo from Cuba and eighth seeds Aikaterini Nikolaidou and Maria Tsiartsiani of Greece also booked berths in the Main Draw by beating 20th seeds Inguna Minusa/Inga Pulina from Latvia and Canada's ninth seeds Gabriele Gaby/Patricia T respectively.

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

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.