Malaysians Hoping to Shine on Home Sand
PETALING JAYA, Malaysia, April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- With a larger field of competitors, the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Beach Volleyball World Tour -- Langkawi Open 2018 is set to crown new champions in both the men's and women's competition. Drawing in more teams compared to the previous year, the tournament promoted and organized by E-Plus Global will take place from 26 to 29 April 2018 at Pantai Cenang in Langkawi, Malaysia.
The competition is expected to be intense in the men's category with Thailand's Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud in the main draw -- winners of the recent WT1 tournament in Satun, Thailand. Hot on their heels and looking to avenge their defeat to the Thais in Satun are top-seeds Indonesians Ade Candra Rachmawan/Mohammad Ashfiya.
Against a field of strong contenders, host nation Malaysia will be represented with three teams in the main draw. Malaysia Team captain, Rafi Asruki Nordin acknowledged the tough challenge from the Indonesians but is hoping to capitalise on home sand advantage. He notes, "Having the World Tour in Malaysia is especially important for the exposure, development and improvement in the level of our beach volleyball players."
Teaming up with Raja Nazmi Saifuddin Raja Hussin this year, Rafi hopes to improve on his fifth place finish last year. He notes, "I have a new but really experienced teammate this year. This is great as it serves as part of our longer term training programme and in particular, our preparations for the Asian Games later this year." The other two Malaysian teams are Gee Jia Wei/How Juen Ang and Yong Wai Kin/Kwan Young Kuck.
The women's category is equally competitive with Michelle Sharon Valinete Amarilla/Erika Sofia Mongelos Bobadilla of Paraguay, Indonesians Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami, Australia's Phoebe Bell/Jessyka Ngauamo and Julia Tilley/Alice Bain of New Zealand -- all vying for a shot at the medals. Meanwhile, Malaysians Lai Jessie and Shu Woon Joo are hoping to leverage on the competition to harness their competitive experience.
"With a bigger field of competitors, we can expect an intense competition and the exciting prospect of crowning new champions in both the men and women's competitions. Enthusiasts are in for an exhilarating competition!" comments Andrew Ching, Chief Executive Office of E-Plus Global.
The competition starts on Thursday with qualifications, the round of 12 on Friday, quarterfinals on Saturday, and semi-final and final matches on Sunday.