Festive energy from the crowd and athletes marked the colourful start of the inaugural Pingtan Beach World Series Open on Thursday at Longwangtou Beach in Fuzhou, China.
The 2019 Pingtan Beach World Series Open kicked off with the opening ceremony with a great welcome to the athletes by the organising committee and World ParaVolley president Barry Couzner, a lively dance performance and colourful fireworks show on Thursday morning.
“All dreams have a beginning,” said Couzner on the goal for the Beach ParaVolley (Standing) to be a Paralympic discipline. “The 2019 Pingtan Beach World Series Open represents the beginning of a process to achieving an ambitious goal for World ParaVolley athletes – that of participation as a new discipline in the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games.
“This historic event World Series event in Pingtan has shown that there is a demand for Beach ParaVolley from athletes across the world and I know that this demand will only grow in the future.
“Here in Pingtan we have created history. I look forward to witnessing the very first World Series event for World ParaVolley athletes as we begin to realise the dream.”
At the maiden edition of the Beach ParaVolley (Standing) event, 33 athletes representing seven nations will be competing in the double-gender event.
China captain Wu Kia made the historic first serve, while India 1’s Abhisek Aluwala scored the first point of the tournament with a strong spike. India 1’s Deewarata/Aluwala/Mallick won the first match over China’s Wu/Wei/Ma in three sets (21-17, 11-21, 15-8).