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Eight countries chasing Tokyo Open gold

 
Sarah Pavan (right) hitting against Kelly Claes of the United States in a pool play match Friday at Shiokaze Park as Canadian partner Melissa Humana-Paredes follows the action
Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 2019 - Eight men's and 16 women's teams from eight countries remain in contention for gold medals at the US$300,000 Tokyo Open as the FIVB World Tour tournament is following the same 24-team main draw format that will be used for the 2020 Summer Games at Shiokaze Park.


Half of the remaining 24 teams in the competition are from Brazil (three men and five women) and the United States (two men and four women).  Joining the two countries Saturday are pairs from Canada (two women's teams), China (one women's), the Czech Republic (one women's), Germany (one men's and two women's), The Netherlands (one men's and one women's) and Norway (one's men's).

Saturday's schedule at Shiokaze Park will feature three women's and two men's rounds of competition to set the field for Sunday's medal matches where the winning teams will collect the $20,000 first-place prizes along with 800 qualifying points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.


The featured women's match in the Round of 16 Saturday morning has second-seeded and newly-crowned FIVB world champions Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada playing third-seeded Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva of Brazil.

The two teams met in a FIVB World Tour quarter-final two weeks ago in Switzerland with Rebecca and Ana Patricia posting a three-set win over the Canadians.  Overall, Humana-Paredes and Pavan lead the series 2-1 with victories earlier this season in Las Vegas and last year in Portugal.

Men's play Saturday starts with a rematch of the bronze medal match earlier this month in Germany as top-seeded Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway are challenged by seventh-seeded Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb of the United States.  The Norwegians have won all four previous FIVB matches with Bourne and Crabb, including a 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 15-10) win July 7 at Hamburg in the 62-minute third-place contest at the world championships.

Diving for Mikasa is Anders Mol (right) of Norway during an opening elimination match Friday evening at Shiokaze Park against China.


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