Malaysia starts hosting its second Beach Volleyball World Tour event of the season tomorrow – the Port Dickson Beach Open – which will feature the final weekend of qualifying for the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships.
An inaugural International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) event, the three-star tournament starts with qualifying, from which eight men’s and eight women’s teams will advance to Wednesday's main pool schedule.
The elimination rounds start on Thursday with the medal matches on Saturday, the winning pairs sharing $10,000 (£7,740/€9,000) first-place prizes.
Staged in the Malaysian coastal town, an hour by car from Kuala Lumpur, the event is the last before the May 6 deadline to determine 23 men's and 23 women's teams from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that will qualify for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg, Germany from June 28 to July 7.
While most of the teams qualifying through the FIVB entry ranking are almost set from the international circuit, Brazilian men's tandems still have a chance to gain a spot in the FIVB World Championships where the 48-team fields will include 20 continental qualifiers, two host country berths and three wild card entries.
With the maximum entry per country at the FIVB World Championships being four pairs, the fourth Brazilian spot could be added in Malaysia.
The 23 World Championships entrants from the World Tour are based on a team's best four finishes from its past six World Tour events as of May 6, 2019.
The Brazilian teams in Port Dickson – Andre Loyola and George Wanderley, and Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho – will be seeking to pass pairs from Brazil, Belgium, Canada and Russia on the FIVB entry list to gain final berths allotted to the FIVB World Tour for the World Championships that return to Germany for the second time.
Belgium's Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle, who are not competing in Port Dickson, are tied with Loyola and Wanderley for the 22nd spot on the FIVB entry list with 1,880 points.
Cerutti, who won the 2015 world and 2016 Olympic title with Bruno Schmidt, and his partner are 50 points behind with 1,830 points.
Other teams in with a shout for FIVB World Tour places at the World Championships are Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter of Canada, who have 1,980 points, Nikita Liamin and Igor Velichko of Russia, who have 1,960, and Saymon Barbosa and Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes of Brazi, who have 1,860.