FIVB Beach Volleyball Open event heading to Xiamen, China

The fourth of seven double-gender Open events on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour schedule, China will present the FIVB Xiamen Open on October 7 to 12. It will be the second time Xiamen has hosted a FIVB World Tour event having also hosted a FIVB Grand Slam in 2013.

In addition to the FIVB Xiamen Open, two other stops are scheduled in China in 2014 on the FIVB international schedule prior to the Xiamen event: the FIVB Fuzhou Open (April 22 to 27) and the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam (April 29 to May 4). All three will be double-gender events.

At last year's event in Xiamen, Brazil’s new duo of Alison Cerutti/Vitor Felipe took the gold medal while the champions in the women's comeptition were USA’s new team of multi-time Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross.

China has hosted a total of 43 FIVB World Tour events (17 men, 26 women) over a 16-year period with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders.  In the men’s totals, Brazil has 23 medals, followed by the USA with seven, Germany with six, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland with three each, China and Spain with two each and with one men’s medal each are Argentina and Austria.

After 26 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in China, Brazil leads the medal parade with 26 total medals followed by USA with 20, China with 14, Germany with five, Australia with four, the Netherlands with three, Austria with two and with one women’s medal in China are Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland.

Xiamen is one of eight Chinese cities to host an international FIVB beach volleyball event. Others have been Beijing, Dalian, Fuzhou, Lianyungang, Maoming, Sanya and Shanghai. A major city on the southeast (Taiwan Strait) coast of the People's Republic of China, Xiamen is also known as Amoy. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with a population of 3.67 million.

The city 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 eleven FIVB Beach Volleyball Opens on the 2014 FIVB World Tour include seven double-gender, two men-only and two women-only tournaments, adding numerous possibilities for athletes to compete in high quality, FIVB international competition. Over the course of the year more Open events could be added to the schedule, ensuring that all five Confederations will host a FIVB event in 2014.

The 2014 FIVB World Ranking system will 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.