August 02, 2003 - The switch was thrown on yesterday for the start of hot International Beach Volleyball action on the shores of Tokyo Bay in Japan. The popular tourist area of Daiba in Tokyo is the scene of the 2003 International Beach Volleyball Exhibition event, staged jointly by Japan Volleyball Association and Fuji TV.
With US$80,000 of prizemoney on offer, the six men's and six women's teams from a total of eight countries will supply some great action for this exhibition event to promote beach volleyball in Tokyo.
Promoted by Fuji TV on the company's 45th Anniversary, and in front of their impressive building in Daiba, thousands of spectators each day have witnessed spectacular action from the men's and women's draws. Participating countries include Switzerland, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand and host country Japan for women. In the men' s competition the host is joined by teams from Norway, Spain, Australia and USA.
Three-time Olympic Gold medalist Karch Kiraly has returned to the country where he first visited 25 years ago as a member of the UCLA Indoor Men's team. Winner of the Gold medal at the first ever Olympics for Beach Volleyball in Atlanta in 1996, Karch has joined partner Brent Doble to send the fans into a frenzy during play. However the competition is not their only contribution, with Brent & Karch also giving pointers to local talent during beach clinics each day, and assisting with other promotional activities.
Although going through some tight matches, both USA (Kiraly/Doble) and Spain (Bosma/Luna) have remained undefeated in their respective pools to go through to the Men's final on Sunday, however Switzerland (Erni/Truessel) topped their pool only after a set countback to join undefeated Japan 1(Saiki/Urata) in the Women's final, also to be played on Sunday.
Sunday's action concludes with Ukraine (Rayeva/Nikolayeva) playing Japan 2 (Tubakimoto/Tanaka) for the women's Bronze medal, and Norway
(Goranson/Goranson) playing Japan 1 (Asahi/Nishimura) for the men's Bronze".