BAHRAIN's beach volleyball teams are all set to begin their campaigns today when the Third GCC Beach Games gets underway in Haiyang, China.
The kingdom will be spearheaded by two teams. Bahrain 'A' team consist of Hassan Akeel and Hassan Marhoon, while Bahrain 'B' comprise Ali Habib and Ali Marhoon.
Bahrain 'A' kick-start their bid today with two matches against the Maldives and Vietnam in Group 'L', while Bahrain 'B' face Afghanistan in Group 'E', which also features Asia's third-ranked team Indonesia.
There are 48 teams taking part in beach volleyball championship. They were divided into 16 groups of three teams each, with only the winners in each group reaching the last-16 round.
As a build-up to the tournament's opener, the Bahrain teams concluded their preparations at the purpose-built beach volleyball grounds in Haiyang under their coach Ali Jaffer.
The team's practice was witnessed by Bahrain delegation head Fahad Al Khathlan and his deputy Mohammed Al Ghunaim.
Bahrain are also due to participate in beach football and handball events. The football team, currently camping in Bangkok, registered a 1-0 victory over Thailand at the Thai Football Federation's grounds. Ayoob Naseef was on target in Bahrain's victory.
It was the second tune-up game for the Bahrainis, who defeated the hosts 4-1 last Monday. Bahrain's recently-appointed Uruguayan coach Fernando Rosa excluded five players to name his final 10-member squad that will travel to China for the Asian Games.
His team includes skipper Yacoub Al Nusuf besides goalkeeper Salah Salman, Sayed Mohammed Abbas, Hussain Al Dossary, Jassim Al Dossary, Sadeq Marhoon, Nayef Al Jassim and Ayoob Naseeb.
The remaining players are, Isa Al Dossary, Abdulla Al Jowder, Abdullatif Abdullah and Mohammed Darwish, Ibrahim Hassan, Abdullah Ibrahim, Mohammed Mahmoud and Hisham Abdul Rahim.
The competition will follow a round robin group stage, with the two best-ranked sides qualifying for the next round, the quarter-finals, when a play-off system begins.
Meanwhile, Bahrain's beach handball team coach Khalid Al Hiddi has announced his final squad for the Games.
Al Hiddi's squad features goalkeeper Fawaz Shamsan, Abdulla Ali, Raed Al Marzooq, Hussain Al Qaydoom, Fahad Jassim, Belal Salem, Jaffer Abbas, Sayed Shehab Mousa, Hussain Madan and Mahmood Ali.
The excluded players were Mohammed Abdulhadi, Ahmed Makki, Jaffer Abbas, Hussain Baboor, Abbas Malalla, Mohammed Al Nasheet.
The team, who arrived in Bahrain following a 10-day training camp in Antalya, Turkey, will have their final local training today before heading for Haiyang tomorrow.
Over 2,000 athletes and officials from the Olympic Council of Asia's 45 affiliated National Olympic Committees will visit Haiyang for the third edition of the Asian Beach Games.