Lausanne, Switzerland, August 26, 2019 - While international beach volleyball action continues in Oman Monday and Tuesday, this week's 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour men's schedule will also feature events in France and Norway.
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With the women's FIVB World Tour idle this week, the men's gold medal contest at the Salalah Open in Oman will be played Tuesday following Monday's schedule that features both pool play and elimination matches at the inaugural event.
The FIVB World Tour stop in France is the second visit this season to Montpellier where qualifying is set for Tuesday followed by main Draw pool play Wednesday and Thursday. The elimination matches begin Friday and the medal rounds will be played Saturday.
French pairs have captured four of the previous six medals in Montpellier with Quincy Aye and Romain Di Giantommaso in this week's field for the host country as the two players seek another podium placement in the southern France city with different partners.
Aye, who will be playing with Arnaud Gauthier-Rat this week, claimed silver and bronze medal at the last two Montpellier events with Youssef Krou. Di Giantommaso, who is playing with Adrian Caravano, teamed with Jeremy Silvestre to placed third at this season's Montpellier stop as the pair dropped an all-French semifinal match to eventual gold medal winners Olivier Barthelemy/Edouard Rowlandson.
With Mikasa is France's Romain Di Giantommaso
With Norway hosting its first FIVB World Tour event since 2015, Oslo play starts Wednesday with qualifying followed by the pool play matches Thursday leading to the weekend elimination rounds highlighted by Sunday's medal matches in the Norwegian capital.
The Montpellier and Oslo events conclude this season's collaboration between the FIVB and the European confederation (CEV) in staging men's and women's tournaments on the 2018-2019 World Tour calendar. Other FIVB-CEV events have be held in Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey.
In World Tour action concluding Saturday and Sunday, the FIVB staged its 44th and 45th men’s events and 45th and 46th women’s events with a double-gender stop in Rwanda, a women’s-only tournament in China and men’s-only competition in Latvia.
At the Rubavu Open in Rwanda, The Netherland's Iris Reinders/Mexime van Driel each won their first FIVB gold medals by defeating Denmark’s Cecilie Olsen/Signe Zibrandtsen in the women's final. Japan’s Masato Kurasaka/Kensuke Shoji also each won his first World Tour titles by defeating Nicolai Hovmann/Jacob Stormly of Denmark in the Rubavu men’s title match.
Rwanda - Rubavu, August 21-24, $5,000, FIVB women's event No. 420
1. Iris Reinders/Mexime van Driel, Netherlands, $1,000
2. Cecilie Olsen/Signe Zibrandtsen, Denmark, $700
3. Jessica Grimson/Victoria Palmer, England, $500
4. Judith Hakizimana/Charlotte Nzayisenga, Rwanda, $400
Gold - Reinders/van Driel def. Olsen/Zibrandtsen, 21-16, 23-21 (36 minutes)
Bronze - Grimson/Palmer def. Hakizimana/Nzayisenga, 21-10, 21-14 (22)
The Rwanda podiums with players from Denmark, England, Japan and The Netherlands.
Rwanda - Rubavu, August 21-24, $5,000, FIVB men's event No. 453
1. Masato Kurasaka/Kensuke Shoji, Japan, $1,000
2. Nicolai Hovmann/Jacob Stormly, Denmark, $700
3. Joaquin Bello/Luis Javier Bello, England, $500
4. Hitoshi Murakami/Keisuke Shimizu, Japan, $400
Gold - Kurasaka/Shoji def. Hovmann/Stormly, 12-21, 21-17, 17-15 (47)
Bronze - Bellos def. Murakami/Shimizu, 21-18, 21-15 (36)
Jingzhe Wang/Shuhui Wen won their fifth FIVB World Tour gold medal in just their sixth event together as the Chinese women delighted the host country crowd by defeating Miki Ishii/Sayaka Mizoe of Japan in the Zhongwei Open finale. Wang and Wen become only the second women’s team after USA’s Holly McPeak/Nancy Reno to accomplish the feat.
China - Zhongwei, August 21-25, $25,000, FIVB women's event No. 421
1. Jingzhe Wang/Shuhui Wen, China, $4,000
2. Miki Ishii/Sayaka Mizoe, Japan, $3,000
3. Chunxia Chen/Lingdi Zhu, China, $2,000
4. Yurika Sakaguchi/Chiyo Suzuki, Japan, $1,400
Gold - Wang/Wen def. Ishii/Miz0e, 21-17, 13-21, 15-13 (56)
Bronze - Chen/Zhu def. Sakaguchi/Suzuki, 21-13, 21-16 (33)
The Zhongwei podium with Japanese and Chinese players
Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins won their second-straight FIVB event and 13th World Tour gold together as the Latvians also sent the host country crowd home happy by defeating Estonia’s Kusti Nolvak/Mart Tiisaar in the Jurmala Open. The event was also the first World Tour event in Latvia.
Latvia - Jurmala, August 22-25, $75,000, FIVB men's event No. 454
1. Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Latvia, $10,000
2. Kusti Nolvak/Mart Tiisaar, Estonia, $8,000
3. Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Pavel Piatrushka, Belarus, $5,000
4. Armin Dollinger/Eric Stadie, Germany, $4,000
Gold - Samoilovs/Smedins def. Nolvak/Tiisaar, 23-21, 21-14 (38)
Bronze - Dziadkou/Piatrushka def. Dollinger/Stadie, 21-19, 21-16 (31)
Players from Estonia, Latvia and Belarus on the Jurmala Open podium,
The 2018-2019 FIVB beach volleyball season ends next week in Rome as the Italian capital hosts its first World Tour event since 2013. The US$600,000 FIVB World Tour Finals will be staged at the Foro Italico sports complex starting September 4 with qualifying and concluding September 8 with the medal matches.