FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open set for fourth consecutive edition

China will once again present the double-gender FIVB Fuzhou Open on April 19-23. It will be the fourth consecutive year that Fuzhou has hosted a FIVB World Tour event.

This will be the fourth time Fuzhou will host an FIVB Open international event and the city organized the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup in June 2012 where Australia bagged first place in the women’s tournament and Japan in the men’s.

In addition to the FIVB Fuzhou Open, other stop scheduled in China in 2016 on the FIVB international schedule will be the double-gender FIVB Xiamen Open, the week before Fuzhou on (April 12-26).

In last year’s third FIVB Fuzhou Open World Tour event, the gold medal winners for men was Germany’s Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen and for the women was Canada’s Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas. It was the first career FIVB World Tour gold medal for each team.

Fuzhou is one of eight Chinese cities to host an international FIVB beach volleyball event. Others have been Beijing, Dalian, Lianyungang, Maoming, Sanya, Shanghai and Xiamen.

The first men’s FIVB World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil while the first women’s FIVB World Tour event in Brazil was played in 1993 in Rio de Janeiro. The women’s FIVB World Tour held its first tournament on August 14-16 in Almeria, Spain in 1992.

The 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the 2015/2016 calendar will include multiple FIVB Open and multiple FIVB Grand Slam events along with more Swatch FIVB Major Series events, and the second Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The highlight of the calendar will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil featuring 24 teams in each gender.

China has hosted 53 FIVB World Tour events through 2015, including 22 men’s and 31 women’s tournaments. Host country China has won 19 previous medals on its country’s soil, including two men’s silver medals, six women’s gold medals, seven women’s silver medals, and five women’s bronze medals.

In the 22 FIVB men’s events through 2015, Brazil has the most men’s medals with 25, followed by Germany with nine, the United States with eight, Netherlands with five, Spain and Switzerland three each, China and France with two each and with one each men’s medal in China have been Argentina, Austria, Latvia and Russia.

Through 31 FIVB women’s events in China through 2015, Brazil leads the medals race with 29 total followed by the United States with 23, China with 17, Germany with nine, Australia with four, Netherlands and Switzerland with three each, Austria with two and with one each women’s medals in China are Argentina, Canada, Italy, Norway and Spain.

Xiamen, also known as Amoy, is a major city on the southeast (Taiwan Strait) coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with a population of 3.67 million.

Xiamen was a treaty port in the 19th century and one of the four original Special Economic Zones opened to foreign investment and trade when China began economic reforms in the early 1980s. In 2006, Xiamen was ranked as China's second "most suitable city for living", as well as China's "most romantic leisure city" in 2011.

The event continues the Road to Rio that lasts until June 13, 2016 with FIVB World Tour events counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine the 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The 2016 FIVB World Ranking system will again include FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam and Open events along with additional pre-approved events at the inter-continental, continental and national levels.

Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. While the FIVB World Championships had 48 teams, all other tournaments have 32 teams and begin with a qualification tournament in each gender to determine the final eight teams in the main draw fields.

Country quota playoffs are also held, as needed, to determine the final teams for qualification tournaments.

The 2014-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup is back again this year as it completes its portion of the qualification process for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.