Canada’s top seeds Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes finished top of Pool A on day three of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Beach World Tour in Xiamen after a tough match against Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh of the United States.
The newly established Commonwealth Games champions eventually prevailed on centre court at the Guanyinshan Golden Beach site, coming through 21-15, 22-24, 18-16.
April Ross and Alexandra Klineman of the US, winners of the year-opening 4-Star Dela Beach Open in The Hague, ended the day top of Pool D after beating Switzerland’s Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli 21-16, 21-13.
Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude topped their pool by defeating fellow Germans Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider 21-8, 21-12.
Host nation China has enlisted Brazilian coach Paulo Roberto Moreira da Costa to work with six Chinese teams including Wang Fan and Xia Xinyi .
The coaching seems to be working for the pair, who also make it through, defeating Taiana Lima and Carol Horta Maximo of Brazil 18-21, 21-18, 15-13.
In the men’s draw top seeds Poland's Piotr Kantor and Batorsz Losiak and The Netherlands' Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen both earned the wins to top Pools A and B respectively.
Brazil’s Olympic champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, beaten yesterday by Norwegian qualifiers Anders Berntsen Mol and Christian Sandlie Sørum, earned a 2-0 win over America's Theodore Brunner and John Hyden - 23-21, 21-17 - to stay in contention.
Spanish team Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrian Gavira Collado, gold medallists in Xiamen in 2016, are heading in the right direction after winning Pool F by defeating Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs 21-19, 15-21, 15-11.
"It’s really nice to be back in China, we won the gold medal here two years ago, so we hope to repeat this," said Gavira.
"We’re in the second round now and we will fight for that, we are on the way,” said Gavira.
"The conditions here are good, it’s like Tenerife, like Spanish weather."
Herrera added: "For us it’s okay, some days it’s quite windy and quite cold, some days it’s hot, so it changes, but it’s really nice
Plavins and Tocs also progressed into second round single elimination after beating Brazil’s Alvaro Morais Filho and Saymon Barbosa Santos.
Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson from Switzerland continue their success in Xiamen, earning another win to complete the day top of Pool C by winning against Canada’s Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter 21-19, 21-11.
Xianmen is hosting the 13th men's and eighth women's event on the 2017-2018 FIVB calendar that started last September in France and is due to end this August in Germany for the World Tour Finals in Hamburg.