Shanghai, China, May 4, 2011 – After Wednesday’s three rounds of qualification matches, eight teams including lowly ranked Kathrine Maaseide and Ingrid Torlen from Norway advanced to the 32-team women’s Main Draw tournament at the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Shanghai Open.
Seeded 22nd in the 47-team qualification tournament, Maaseide/Torlen won three matches in a row to make the double elimination women’s Main Draw, which starts on Thursday.
“We are very happy to play a solid second set, because in the first set we were under pressure most of the time,” said Maaseide following a 21-19 and 21-15 victory over Deborah Giaoui/Melody Benhamou of France. “We can play very well when we get points through good defense and services, but we had a lot of up and downs.”
It’s only the second tournament Maaseide and Torlen played together, but they are very confident in the future of their combination.
“We are a new team, we need time to play more consistently,” said Ingrid. “Now we are in the Main Draw, we will try our best to be a good team. I believe we can play very well together.”
Maaseide and Torlen assumed they were the lowest seeded qualifiers that advanced to the Main Draw, but they are actually not.
Americans Brittany Hochevarand Jennifer Fopma, the 42nd seeds of the qualification tournament who had played a country-quota match on Tuesday, soon refreshed the record set by the Norwegians by knocking out seventh seeds Erika Fabjan/Simona Fabjan of Slovenia.
Other teams going through the qualification tournament are Australia’s Becchara Palmer/Louise Bawden (1st), United States’ Brooke Hanson/Lauren Fendrick (3rd), Brazilian duo Angela Vieira/Liliane Maestrini (8th), British tandem Zara Dampney/Shauna Mullin (13th), Kinga Kolosinska/Monika Brzostek (15th) of Poland and Merel Mooren/Rebekka Kadijk (21th) from the Netherlands.
Following the withdrawal of defending two-time Olympic champions Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor of the United States, Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca will be the top title favorites in the women’s Main Draw of the Shanghai Jinshan Open.
Juliana/Larissa have captured five of the last six season’s championships on the international tour, but their only success at the Shanghai Open was in 2005 when the Brazilians made a clean sweep of the medals.
The Chinese city of Shanghai is welcoming the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour for the eighth year in a row. The Shanghai Jinshan Open is the second of 12 double gender events of the 2011 season.