*Durban Open | 9 - 14 décembre 2014
2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball season to conclude in Durban, South Africa
The last of six double-gender Open events on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour schedule, South Africa will once again present the FIVB Durban Open from December 9 to 14. It will be the second straight year that Durban has hosted the season-finale of the FIVB World Tour. The city of Durban, located on the coast of the Indian Ocean, also hosted a men’s only FIVB Open back in 1996.
The men's competition of last year's Durban Open was won by Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins while the women’s champion team was China’s new pairing of Xinyi Xia/Chen Xue.
South Africa has hosted a total of seven FIVB World Tour events (five men, two women). In the men’s totals, Brazil has won eight medals, followed by Latvia and the USA with two each and with one men’s medal each are Argentina, Canada and Switzerland.
After two FIVB World Tour women’s events held in South Africa through 2013, Brazil and the USA are tied for the lead in the medal parade with two each followed by China and Germany with one each. Durban and Cape Town are the only two South African cities to host an international FIVB beach volleyball event, with Cape Town hosting four and Durban the other three.
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and is the second most important manufacturing hub in the country after Johannesburg. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality and is one of the busiest ports in South Africa and on the continent of Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centers of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. The municipality, which includes neighboring towns, has a population of almost 3.5 million, making the combined municipality the biggest city on the east coast of the African continent.
Today, Durban is the busiest container port in Africa and a popular tourist destination. The Golden Mile was developed as a welcoming tourist destination in the 1970s, as well as Durban at large, providing ample tourist attractions, particularly for people on holiday from Gauteng. The Golden Mile was redeveloped in late 2009 in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It was resurfaced and widened between Ushaka Marine World and Moses Mabhida Stadium, and the city's. most popular beaches are also located along the Golden Mile. Durban is also a gateway to the national parks and historic sites of Zulu Kingdom and the Drakensberg.
The nine FIVB Beach Volleyball Opens on the 2014 FIVB World Tour include six double-gender, one men-only and two women-only tournaments, adding numerous possibilities for athletes to compete in high quality, FIVB international competition. Over the course of the year more Open events could be added to the schedule, ensuring that all five Confederations will host a FIVB event in 2014.
The 2014 FIVB World Ranking system will include FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam and Open events along with additional pre-approved events at the inter-continental, continental and national levels.
Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds.