: The first edition of the Asia Pacific under-21 beach volleyball championship will be held at the Marina here from May 17 to 19. Thanthi TV is the title sponsor.

Australia, Japan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Oman, Turkmenistan and India will be taking part in the tournament. Six teams each from men and women will qualify for the FIVB World under-21 championship to be held in Umag, Croatia from June 20 to 23.

India will be hosting three men pairs and four from the women’s. In all, there will be 16 teams in men and 10 in women.

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, A.J. Martin Sudhakar, Event Director, said the tournament will be played in a league-cum-knockout format. There will be 16 teams divided into four groups and the top two from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals, he said.

In the women’s, the teams are divided into two groups wherein the top two will enter the semifinals.

G.E. Sridharan, Indian men’s volleyball team chief coach, said the Indian teams have been practicing hard for the last one week. “We hope to do well in the championship,” he said.

Md. Ghouse and E.A. Babu are the coaches of the Indian men’s team while Rama Devi and Hema will coach the women’s team.

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