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Vanuatu's volleyball team hope to see Phuket not so wet

Phuket Nets Wet Start to Volleyball Titles

Monday, November 1, 2010
HEAVY to medium storms are forecast for this year's Phuket Thailand Open Women's Volleyball series on Karon beach as bad weather continues to spoil the island's fun.

With prizemoney on Phuket of $190,000, the final stop on the Swatch FIVB World Tour 2010 has attracted entries from eight of the world's top 10 teams.

The main draw takes place from November 4-7, with country quota playoffs and qualifying rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday. The chances of rain and storms interrupting play is strong right through until at least Saturday.

Phuket has had one of the worst monsoon seasons in memory. Marketers have taggged the rainy season ''summer'' because there are usually plenty of sunny days - but not many of them appeared in 2010.

Among the pro participants from 30 countries on Phuket this year will be Oceania Womens Gold Medalists Henriette Iatika and Miller Elwin from the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, who were introduced to the media on Monday with coach Lauren McLeod. Eighty teams will compete.

An amateur competition is being held with the main professional event and Phuket hotel and school teams will also turn out. Organisers say three times as many people are following the volleyball to Phuket this year.

In Thailand, coverage on television goes live for the semi-finals on Saturday and for Sunday's finals from 3pm on both days. Admission to the tournament is free.

Favorites to win will be Larissa and Juliana from Brazil, with reigning world champions American pair Kessy and Ross returning to defend the title they won last year on Phuket. The Phuket event is rated the best-marketed on the circuit.
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