Three-time Olympic champion Karch Kiraly returned from Atlanta just in time to dive into the 1996 Miller Lite/AVP Tour, kicking off Friday in Manhattan Beach. Kiraly, 35, helped rule the six-man indoor game with two gold medals in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, and took top honors two weeks ago at the Atlanta Games, with partner Kent Steffes in two-man beach volleyball.
Kiraly and Steffes are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 on the Miller Lite tour. Last year Kiraly became the first player to top the $2-million mark. (This year marks the 20th anniversary of beach volleyball turning professional.)
Competing in the tournament with Kiraly and Steffes are Olympic silver medalists Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh, along with other top players.
Matches get underway Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The championship match is 2 p.m. Sunday. Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Beach. Free to spectators; reserved seats, $20. Information: (800) 432-7470.