Beijing ready to welcome local and international heroes
Newly crowned world champions Chen Xue and Zhang Xi started the season with gold at the Fuzhou Open and will be hoping for more success in Beijing. Their best result was a quarterfinal finish at the 2011 tournament, so they and their fans will be expecting more this year.
The tournament is in its third consecutive year and takes place at Beijing Chaoyang Park. It was built as the venue for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and three of the gold medallists from that tournament is likely to be returning once again.
USA’s Kerri Walsh, who won the second of her three Olympic golds with Misty May-Treanor in Beijing, is likely to be taking another step in her nascent partnership with April Ross; a partnership that she hopes will take them through to another gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
The men's gold medal was won by Walsh's fellow Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, and while they are expected to be back on the sand in Beijing, it will be with new partners.
At the start of 2013 Dalhausser teamed up with Sean Rosenthal, while Rogers selected Ryan Doherty as his new team-mate.
The Beijing Grand Slam is the ninth of 10 Grand Slams on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, along with the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. The FIVB yearly calendar also includes eight Open events throughout the world to help open the door for development of the sport and though they are not part of the World Tour they still count towards the FIVB World Rankings.