Curtain raised for inaugural 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Malaysia Open
Sixty-four professional players from 17 countries gather to compete in a new milestone in the nation’s volleyball history, with the first pair of champions from the double-gender games to be crowned at the breathtaking Pantai Cenang.
“We are glad that E-Plus was given the opportunity to organise an event that will be witnessed by a global audience. I hope that every viewer and spectator will enjoy the games this weekend,” said Andrew Ching, Chief Executive of E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd, promoter and organiser of the Malaysia Open.
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The event in Malaysia is the fifth on the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour after stops in Fort Lauderdale (USA), Kish Island (Iran), Shepparton and Sydney (Australia).
“Hosting an inaugural games can be challenging to the organiser and the host country. I would like to extend my gratitude to E-Plus for their professionalism and the support given by all parties to establish and uplift beach volleyball in the region. The FIVB is looking forward to the exciting matches and may the best team win,” said Liu Chang, Technical Supervisor.
Australia, Austria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Spain, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Romania, South Africa, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Switzerland and the United States are on the entry list for the event. Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez, and the United States’ Emily Stockman and Kimberly Dicello will highlight the event as the entry points leaders in the men’s and women’s charts respectively.
“The beach and scenery are stunning and beyond our expectation,” said Diaz. “We have trained hard for months in anticipation of this competition, and we hope that we will continue to lead the chart.” The duo represented Cuba at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
American volleyball Olympian David McKienzie, also husband to Malaysian actress Lana Nodin, will team up with 27-year-old Andrew Dentler as the wild card team for the championship in the men's category.
Malaysia will be represented by ten teams, including national athletes Elangovan Yogeswaran and veteran player Luk Teck Hua. Luk said that this would be a stepping stone in cultivating and promoting beach volleyball in Malaysia. “The sport is growing steadily, but this World Tour will surge the interest in Malaysia. Moreover, I am looking forward to polishing my skills and showcasing my talent on the international stage, and hopefully, make Malaysia proud with a first beach volleyball World Tour title.” Luk will partner with Lee Geok Ting Elaine while Yogeswaran will pair with Mohamad Ammirol Mat Sidek.
“International sporting events will draw foreign fans and enthusiasts to the country. Their experience of our unique hospitality will lead to returning visitors. Moreover, the live broadcast will further expose our scenic beaches to fans who were not able to attend. These efforts will ultimately drive tourism receipt and revenue to our country in the long run,” said Tony Nagamaiah, General Manager of Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia.
“Langkawi is blessed with beautiful nature. Hosting the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open will further introduce our offerings via various channels and networks,” said Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, Chief Executive Officer of Langkawi Development Authority.
The 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open will take place over four rounds – the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. A total of $20,000 (approximately RM89,000) in prize money will be given away. The winning team for each gender will receive a cash prize of $2,000 (approximately RM8,900), followed by $1,500 (approximately RM6,700) for the first runner-up, $1,200 (approximately RM5,300) for the second runner-up, $900 (approximately RM4,000) for the third runner-up, $500 (approximately RM2,300) per team from the fifth to eighth place, and $300 (RM1,400) per team from the ninth to sixteenth place.
“We will ensure that the games are fairly played and judged. By showing our knowledge and professionalism in this field, we can increase the likelihood of the Malaysians' interest towards the sport. We would like to wish all the participating teams the best of luck in their games,” said Joseph Gerard, Secretary of the Malaysia Volleyball Association.
Daily and two-day passes can be purchased at www.airasiaredtix.com or at the gates.