Japan, Thailand teams to beat in FIVB World Tour Boracay Open
MANILA, Philippines—Japan and Thailand are the favorites ahead of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open on Thursday at the White House Beach Station 1 in Boracay.
Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba, bronze medalists in the Battambang 1-star last month in Cambodia, will banner Japan’s campaign. The two were gold medal winners in the 1-Star Manavgat Open in Turkey a year ago.
The Japanese, who will field three women’s pairs in the four-day, 1-star tournament, remain strong contenders despite not having the duo of Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori, who ruled last year’s Manila Open.
Completing the Japanese cast are are Sakurako Fujii and Minori Kumada, who finished fourth in the Battambang 1-star and 2006 Doha Asian Games silver medalists Shinako Tanaka and Miyuki Matsumura.
“We’re really expecting a heavy challenge from Japan since they are extensively preparing for the Olympics,” said Charo Soriano, Beach Volleyball Republic’s co-founder who also serves as tournament director.
Thailand’s team of Thatsarida Singchuea and Pawarun Chanthawichai is also not to mess with.
The two have won four titles, having won the Asian U21 Championships in 2017 and 2019, the Asian U17 Championships and the Asian U19 Championships in 2016 and 2018.
The Philippines will field in four women’s teams in the main draw led by Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons while the tandem of Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor will go through the qualifiers.
Rondina and Pons will arrive in Boracay Wednesday.
In the men’s division, Russia’s Maxim Sivolap and Artem Yarzutkin, who won the gold in the Kg Speu 1-Star tournament in Cambodia to go with a silver in the Siem Reap 2-star in Thailand last month, are tipped to win.
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