Jiangning, Nanjing, China, June 16, 2017 – China’s Shuhui Wen and Xinyi Xia called upon their stamina to triumph on a busy day for them at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Silk Road Tangshan Open.
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The morning saw Sh. H. Wen/X. Y. Xia win the final of the China National Tour Tangshan Grand Slam on the same court that they would later face Thailand’s Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak. The Chinese team enter the FIVB Tangshan Open with the lowest rank, with Numrong/Hongpak the strongest seeded team of the day.
Fully harnessing their confidence from the morning victory, Sh. H. Wen/X. Y. Xia knocked out the Thai pair 2-0 (21-19, 21-12) to enter the round of 16. China's Xinyi Xia signalling the serve to partner Shuhui Wen
"The match this morning consumed a lot of energy, so we used the short break to focus our attention to this afternoon match. It was quite a mental game against the Thai team. Their defence was very close to our attack which also impacted the game. In our following games, we are also hoping to learn a lot, enjoy the international competition and earn more wins,” said Xia.
“It was a fast turn-around from this morning’s final which was very tiring for us. But we were prepared for the match this afternoon and learned how to overcome our opponents,” said Wen.
USA’s Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock also got off to a good start in Tangshan defeating New Zealand’s Julia Tilley and Alice Bain 2-0 (21-13, 21-17).
“I think we were just focusing on our side, just making sure we take care of our side and we were good to go,” said Dowdy.USA's Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock (left)
“We’re focused on consistency right now and just building our team every time we get on that court, so it was a good day for us,” said Pollock.
“This venue is awesome, it’s such a cool set up. We know you guys are hosting U21 later in the year, so they’re going to love it,” said Dowdy.
Another team impressed by the facilities in Nanjing was England’s Victoria Palmer and Jessica Grimson who beat China’s Xindie Jin and Leying Jiang in their opening match of the Tangshan Open, 2-0 (21-15, 21-13).
“The courts are amazing. We don’t have such a good set-up in England, so to come here and play in this venue, it’s been amazing for us,” said Palmer.England’s Victoria Palmer keeps the ball in play
“They’re a really good team, you can tell that they’re young, they just need to secure the ball and just need to stay patient. For us, we knew they were a big team, so we just needed to play a different style of game to beat them. With patience and time you just get better and better, so they’ve got such a good future ahead of them,” said Palmer.
The other upsets of the day were in the form of the Czech Republic’s Martina Bonnerova and Sarka Nakladalova who defeated Russian team Abalakina/Dabizha, 2-0 (21-19, 21-18). China’s second win in Tangshan was Lvwen Yuan and Lingdi Zhu who knocked out Germany’s Schillerwein/Tillmann, 2-0 (21-13, 22-20).
Chinese favourites Fan Wang and Yuan Yue will take to the courts on Saturday, June 17 after receiving a bye in the first round as top seeds. The next top seven seeds also progress directly into the round of 16, Ishii/Murakami (JPN), Stockman/Dicello (USA), Joe/Matauatu (VAN), Dumbauskaite/Povilaityte (LTU), Wang X. X./Xue (CHN), Radarong/Udomchavee (THA) and Nagy/Lapointe (CAN).