Switzerland, November 1, 2011—Speaking to an overflow gathering of
media from throughout the host country of Thailand at the Kata Beach
Resort & Spa Hotel, Tri Augkaradacha, Governor of Phuket Province,
led a host of dignitaries Monday in saluting this week’s women’s
season-ending $190,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Phuket
Thailand Open powered by PTT. The popular event is being held at Karon
Beach through Sunday.
Many of the world’s top women’s
beach volleyball tandems are in Thailand as the 15-event 2011 women’s
season ends with the sixth consecutive FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch
World Tour season finale in Thailand.
The women’s season-finale of the
2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour schedule, the Phuket Thailand Open powered
by PTT, featuring 54 teams from 27 countries, begins with a single
elimination qualification tournament on Wednesday to determine the final
eight spots in the 32-team main draw which will be held next Wednesday
through Saturday. The internationally televised semifinals and medal
matches will be played Sunday as the winning pair shares the $30,000
Governor Augkaradacha’s extensive
comments included, “Phuket is very happy to host such as an important
event as the Phuket Thailand Open powered by PTT, because international
sporting events support the island’s tourist industry, by promoting a
positive image of Phuket worldwide. On behalf of Phuket province, I
would like to welcome all the beach volley teams and their supporters to
Phuket and I hope that everyone will enjoy both the action on the
courts and the many other attractions that Phuket has to offer
Among the other speakers during
the one-hour media conference in front of over 50 Thailand media
personnel were Bangornrat Shinaprayoon, Director of Tourism of Thailand
Phuket office, Thawee Thongcham, Mayor of Karon Municipality, Eam
Thavornwongwongse, Director of Kata Group, Geoffrey Rowe, Tournament
Director, and Yu Tsao, FIVB Technical Supervisor.
A total of 54 teams from 27
countries have entered the Phuket Thailand Open powered by PTT (as of
October 31, 2011), 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), Puerto Rico (1), Russia (1), Slovak Republic (1),
Spain (2), Thailand (3), Ukraine (1), and United States (3).
Two former Phuket championship
teams are leading the field into Thailand this year. USA’s two-time
Phuket gold medal winners Jennifer Kessy/April Ross won in 2008 and 2009
while China’s Chen Xue/Xi Zhang captured the crown of the inaugural
event in 2006. Last year, Kessy/Ross finished 13th in the tournament
while Xue/Zhang had an injury forfeit ending the event with a ninth
place final finish.
Thailand has three teams entered
in this year’s tournament and all have been pre-seeded into the main
draw as the host nation. The three teams selected for the main draw are
Kamoltip Kulna/Varapatsorn Radarong, Jarunee Sannok/Usa Tenpaksee and
Tanarattha Udomchavee/Rumpaipruet. Numwong. Kulna/Radarong and
Sannok/Tenpaksee both went undefeated this week in Phetchaburi, Thailand
to lead Thailand’s women’s team to victory at the AVC Continental Cup
zonal beach volleyball tournament of Southeast Asia.
The 2011 calendar features 15
women's and 14 men's events within all five FIVB confederations plus one
special 24-team single-gender women’s test event held August 9-14 at
London’s Horse Guards Parade, the venue for beach volleyball at the 2012
London Olympic Games. The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour is offering
$7.64-million in prize money. Twelve of the tournaments were combined
men's and women's events, including the World Championships and the six
Grand Slam stops. The men’s tour concluded in October in Agadir Morocco.
The Phuket Thailand Open is being
produced by Pentangle Promotions Co., Ltd. of Bangkok in association
with the FIVB and the Thailand Volleyball Association.
The Phuket Thailand Open will be
the 232nd women’s event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour
(open, grand slam, Olympic and Goodwill). The first men’s FIVB Swatch
World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil and the first women’s event was played August 14-16, 1992 at
Almeria, Spain. There have been 271 men’s events in FIVB Swatch World
For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, please visit www.fivb.org.