China’s Chunxia Chen & Zh. Ch. Wei reach new heights in Nantong

 Nantong, China, June 23, 2017 – China’s Chunxia Chen and Zhaochen Wei climbed into the round of 16 after defeating Scotland’s Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, Silk Tour Nantong Open.

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Chunxia Chen/Zh. Ch. Wei came up against Beattie/Coutts in their opening match in Nantong and first FIVB tournament of the 2017 season. The Chinese pair have posted two national tournament wins this year, but had yet to make it into the round of 24 at an FIVB World Tour event.

Scotland’s Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts enter Nantong after a ninth place finish at the Monaco one-star event one week previously, but had a shaky start against Chunxia Chen/Zh. Ch. Wei and it was the Chinese pair to earn the win, 2-1 (21-10, 19-21, 15-13).

China's Chen Chunxia

“I think that our opponents were a little nervous in the beginning, but as they relaxed into the match, they began to play much better. We didn’t manage to completely master our own game though. We made too many mistakes and couldn’t find our rhythm,” said Chunxia Chen.

“It’s useful for us to learn and improve our attitude by playing with teams from overseas. We didn’t play that well in the match today, we couldn’t find a good rhythm technically and so we were too rushed with some of the points,” said Zh. Ch. Wei.

England’s Victoria Palmer and Jessica Grimson are back in action in Nantong after reaching the round of 16 at the Tangshan Open before Grimson sustained a sprained ankle injury. Palmer/Grimson again enter the round of 16 in Nantong, defeating China’s Xindie Jin and Leying Jiang, 2-0 (21-19, 21-19).

England's Jessica Grimson (wearing red) up against China's Xindie Jin (left in blue) and Leying Jiang

“Completely overjoyed with that, we were very nervous going in knowing that we weren’t 100% as a team. In general, we had to do our most and luckily it paid off,” said Palmer.

Palmer/Grimson in their third FIVB World Tour tournament of the year, will now face China’s Xinxin Wang and 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Chen Xue to contend for a place in the Nantong Open quarterfinal. 

“We’re super happy. I sprained my ankle on Saturday, so if you would have asked me then if I could have played, I would have said no. But I managed to get through it with the help of some really cool people here. So I’m so happy to get through to the next round and the opportunity to play a Chinese Olympian,” said Grimson.

USA’s Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock are through to the round of 16 for the second week in a row in China defeating Thailand’s Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak after a heated first set, 2-0 (28-26, 21-17). 

USA's Amanda Dowdy (wearing black at the net) and Irene Pollock up against Thailand's Rumpaipruet Numwong

Tangshan Open silver medallists, Shuhui Wen and Xinyi Xia are also safely through in Nantong, beating German team Katarina Schillerwein and Cinja Tillmann, 2-1 (21-18, 18-21, 15-8).

The top eight teams in the draw receive a bye in the first round and will take to the courts in the round of 16 on June 24; Wang X. X./Xue (CHN), Murakami/Ishii (JPN), Joe/Matauatu (VAN), Radarong/Udomchavee (THA), Dumbauskaite/Povilaityte (LTU), Juliana/Carol Horta (BRA, Dostalova, M./Rehackova (CZE) and Nagy/Lapointe (CAN).  


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