World Tour Beach Volleyball heads to Bloemfontein

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MORGAN PIEK

The City of Roses is set to host the final leg of the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, when the FIVB Mangaung Open takes place next month.

It will be the second straight year South Africa gets to host an event on the tour after Durban had the hosting rights in 2013, however of the seven previous events (five men and two women) it will be the first time it will be visiting the Free State.

The men’s competition of last year’s Durban Open was won by Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins while the women’s championship team was China’s pairing of Xinyi Xia and Chen Xue.

Xiamen in China was the first stop of the seven event tour which visits five continents. Currently the tour is in Chennai, India before heading to the Indian Ocean Island, Réunion for the penultimate stop from 3 to 7 December.

The final event of the tour in Bloemfontein, will run from 9 to 14 December and will feature 32 teams from across the globe, with 24 already having qualified.

The remaining 8 teams will qualify closer to the date.
The format of the tournament will be featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. The eventual tour champions will be crowned in Bloemfontein and the title carries prize money to the value of US$ 150 000 (approx. R1,65 million).

Durban and Cape Town are the only two South African cities to host an international FIVB beach volleyball event, with Cape Town hosting four and Durban the other three.

Rose Garden will be the venue for the four-day event. Sources close to Courant Sport have confirmed that tournament will be launched next week Tuesday.