It is for the third-straight season that the FIVB World Tour returns to Manly Beach in Sydney. But it for the first time that Australia hosts a 3-star World Tour. From March 6-10 the $150,000 event will take place at beautiful Manly Beach. After the qualifiers on Wednesday, pool play will start on Thursday leading to the medal matches on Sunday.
Last season, Canadian and Australian teams won the 2-star event at Manly Beach. Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton claimed gold in the men’s competition while local heroes Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho won on the women’s side.
The Jurmala Open are a men’s-only event at Jurmala Beach near Riga (Latvia). The event will take place from August 22-25, 2019. Prize money is US$ 75,000 and the event will count for the Olympic qualification process towards Tokyo 2020. Qualification kicks off on Thursday, the main draw starts on Friday and the semifinals and medal matches will be played on Sunday.
The lovely beach resort of Jurmala hosted the CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships in 2017. In the event’s final Italian Olympic silver medalists Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo defeated local heroes Janis Smedins and “Lion King” Alex Samoilovs. The two Latvians are back strong after winning the 4-star Moscow Open last weekend. Their back-to-back Moscow title also puts them in a favorite postition for the Jurmala 3-star event. Besides a range of Latvian home teams, several US teams will be competing. AVP Manhattan Beach finalists Patterson/Budinger, Slick/Allen and Evans/Kolinske will go for points in the Olympic race to Tokyo 2020.