LANGKAWI, 13 APRIL 2017 – Two days away from ASEAN’s inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open and Langkawi is ready to welcome more than a thousand volleyball fans across the world to witness the highly anticipated international beach volleyball tournament this weekend. 64 professional players from 17 countries gather to compete and create a historic moment in the nation’s volleyball industry, as the first pair of champions from the double-gender games will be crowned at the breathtaking Pantai Cenang.
“We are glad that E-Plus was given the opportunity to organise an event that will be witnessed by the global audience. I hope that every viewer and spectator will enjoy the games this weekend,” said Andrew Ching, Chief Executive of E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd, promoter and organiser of the Malaysia Open.
Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is the global governing body for the Olympic sports of Volleyball. Malaysia is the second nation to host the World Tour 1-Star (WT1) tournament after Shepparton, Australia. After Langkawi, FIVB WT1 will take place in Pacific Harbour in Fiji, Agadir in Morocco, Daegu and Ulsan in South Korea for the 2017 calendar.
“Hosting an inaugural game can be challenging to the organiser and the host country. I would like to extend my gratitude for E-Plus’ professionalism and the support given by all parties to establish and uplift beach volleyball in the region. The Federation is looking forward to the exciting matches and may the best team win,” said Liu Chang, Technical Supervisor of FIVB.
Australia, Austria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Spain, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Romania, South Africa, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Switzerland and the United States of America are on the list released by FIVB. Cuba’s Diaz Gomez Nivaldo Nadir and Sergio Reynaldo Gonzalez Bayard, and the United States’ Emily Stockman and Kimberly Dicello will highlight the event as the Entry Points leaders in the men’s and women’s chart respectively.
“The beach and scenery are stunning and beyond our expectation,” said Nivaldo Nadir. “We have trained hard for months in anticipation of this competition, and we hope that we will continue to lead the chart.” The duo represented Cuba in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
American volleyball Olympian David McKienzie, also husband to Malaysian actress Lana Nordin, will team up with 27-year-old Andrew Dentler as the wildcard team for the championship. “This will be our second game this season after our debut in Shepparton last month. I believe that our skills and knowledge in volleyball will help us in our games.”
Malaysia will be represented with ten teams, including national athletes Elangovan Yogeswaran and veteran player Luk Teck Hua, who will also make their first appearance this season. Luk mentioned that this would be a stepping stone in cultivating and promoting beach volleyball in Malaysia. “The sport is growing steadily, but this world tour will surge the interest in Malaysia. Moreover, I am looking forward to polishing my skills and showcasing my talent on an international stage, and hopefully, make Malaysia proud with a first beach volleyball world tour title.” Luk will partner with Lee Geok Ting Elaine while Yogeswaran will pair with Mohamad Ammirol Mat Sidek.
“International sporting events will draw foreign fans and enthusiasts to the country. Their experience towards our unique hospitality will lead to returning visitors. Moreover, the live broadcast will further expose our scenic beaches to fans who were not able to attend. These efforts will ultimately drive tourism receipt and revenue to our country in the long run,” said Tony Nagamaiah, General Manager of Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia.
“Langkawi is blessed with beautiful nature. Few of our islands are rated as one of the best in the world. Hosting the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open will further introduce our offerings via various channels and network, which will lead to increase in tourists arrival. We look forward to more collaboration as such to promote Langkawi as the ideal destination for tourism and international events,” said Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, Chief Executive Officer of Langkawi Development Authority.
The 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open will be segregated into four rounds – the Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semi-Finals and Finals. A total of USD20,000 (approximately RM89,000) in prize money will be given away. Winning team for each gender will receive a cash prize of USD2,000 (approximately RM8,900), followed by USD1,500 (approximately RM6,700) for the first runner-up, USD1,200 (approximately RM5,300) for the second runner-up, USD900 (approximately RM4,000) for the third runner-up, USD500 (approximately RM2,300) per team from the fifth to eighth place, and USD300 (RM1,400) per team from the ninth to sixteenth place.
“We will ensure that the games are fairly played and judged. By showing our knowledge and professionalism in this field, we can increase the likelihood of Malaysian’s interest towards the sport. We would like to wish all the participating teams the best of luck in their games,” said Joseph Gerard, Secretary of the Malaysia Volleyball Association.
Daily and two-day passes can be purchased at www.airasiaredtix.com or at the gates.
For more information, follow us on our Facebook at FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open or Instagram at @fivbbeachvolleyball.malaysia.
The 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open is promoted and organised by E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd, sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball and Malaysia Volleyball Association; and supported by Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia), Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Majlis Bandaraya Pelancongan Langkawi, Majlis Daerah Langkawi, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Aseania Langkawi Resort & Spa, Astro Arena HD, Coca-Cola, Uber, SunPlay, Malay Mail, and Lifestyle Chiropractic.