Asian meet attracts many
[BEACH VOLLEYBALL] More than 50 teams from 16 countries will contest the Asian Tour Beach Volleyball Tournament in Thailand next month.
The meet will be split into two legs, the first in Phatthalung from April 9-11 and the second in Songkhla from April 14-16.
Shanrit Wongprasert, secretary-general of the Volleyball Association of Thailand (VAT), told The Nation yesterday that this year's competition has the biggest number of competitors ever in the two-leg
"I'm very glad to hear that many countries will join. Around 30 teams from 15 nations are entered in the men's event and a total of 23 squads from 14 countries in the women's have confirmed to take part in the meet," he said. Shanrit said the VAT has yet to name the teams to represent Thailand.
"We will hold selection trials next Friday to find the best players," he said.
"SEA Games gold medallists Jarunee Sannok and Kamolthip Kulna and rising stars Yupa Pooklongploy and Usa Tenpaksri will be our main players in the women's event," he added.
In the men's category, Shanrit said SEA Games bronze medallists Borworn Youngthin and Sonthi Boonruang will lead the Thai assault. However, the VAT will also field more players to prepare for next year's SEA Games in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Shanrit is convinced the Thai women stand a good chance of reaching the semi-finals, while the men's team should make the last eight.
"Due to the absence of Asian powerhouse China, our girls have a bright chance of winning, while an uphill task awaits our men's players since there are a lot of strong opponents such as Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand and Qatar, which are preparing their athletes for December's Asian Games." Although China remains a vital threat to Thai players at the Asian Games, Shanrit is confident that Jarunee-Kamolthip and Yupa-Usa will win a