Action begun today at the FIVB Beach World Tour event in Phnom Penh ©FIVB

Australia’s Nicole Laird and Becchara Palmer celebrated their debut as partners by earning a place in the main draw at the International Volleyball Federation Beach World Tour event in Phnom Penh.

The duo secured their spot by recording two victories in the qualification tournament at the Cambodian capital's National Sports Complex.

They cleared their first hurdle with a 21-16, 21-17 win over the Czech Republic’s Tereza Kotlasova and Daniela Resova.

Laird and Palmer then endured a 49-minute-long match against Israel’s Sofia Starikov and Anita Dave, winning 21-18, 15-21, 15-12 to move to the next round of this FIVB two-star event. 

The two Olympians met last year before deciding to formalise their partnership earlier this month.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Sakurako Fujii and Minori Kumada beat Vanuatu’s Miller Pata and Sherysyn Toko 21-15, 21-12 to join their top-seeded compatriots Sayaka Mizoe and Suzuka Hashimoto and second seeds Takemi Nishibori and Ayumi Kusano in the main draw.

Japan's Sakurako Fujii, pictured, and Minori Kumada are through to the main draw ©Getty Images
Japan's Sakurako Fujii, pictured, and Minori Kumada are through to the main draw ©Getty Images

Austria’s Nadine and Teresa Strauss, Switzerland’s Kim Huber and Melina Hubscher, Lithuania’s Urte Andriukaityte and Vytene Vitkauskaite and Greece’s Vasiliki Arvaniti and Panagiota Karagkouni also won their respective matches to move to the next round.

The Strauss sisters defeated Italy’s Arianna Barboni and Claudia Puccinelli 21-17, 21-15, while Huber and Hubscher overcame Chinese Taipei’s Ya-Hsuan Yu and Tzu-Yi Pan 23-21, 14-21, 15-11 and Andriukaityte and Vitkauskaite beat Japan’s Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba 19-21, 21-13, 15-9.

Arvaniti and Karagkouni, meanwhile, claimed a 21-10, 21-8 victory over Cyprus’ Mariota Angelopoulou and Daria Gusarova.

Action at the women's-only event, known as the Anchor Beach Volleyball Carnival, is due to continue tomorrow with the first of two days of pool play.

The semi-finals and medal matches are scheduled to be held on Sunday (February 24).

The winning team will share the $4,000 (£3,100/€3,500) first-place prize.