|Termoli, Italy, September 8, 2004 - Teams from Brazil, Poland, the Netherlands and Lithuania won qualifying matches here Wednesday afternoon to advance to the Main Draw in the third annual men's FIVB World Championships for players under 18 year old on the Rio Vivo Beach.
Seventh-seeded Arunas Kirsnys and Arvydas Miseikis of Lithuania used a 21-13 and 21-18 upset win over second-seeded Tobias Kook and Stefan Windscheif of Germany to gain a Main Draw Berth. Windscheif had placed fourth in the European U-18 Championships last month in Poland, but with a different partner.
Other teams advancing to the Main Draw were top-seeded Rodrigo Vieira Bernat/Diogo Pontes of Brazil, fourth-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek/Grzegorz Pajak of Poland and sixth-seeded Tim Oude Elferink/Jeroen Van der Linden of the Netherlands.
Fijalek and Pajak defeated Windscheif and Jonathan Erdmann for the European U-18 bronze medal. European U-18 Champions Zbigniew Bartman and Michal Kubiak of Poland are in the field along with silver medalists Marko Kienast and Thilo Späth of Germany.
The 24-team Main Draw opens Thursday morning with the first of two days of pool play. Sixteen teams advance to Saturday's first two rounds of elimination bracket competition followed by Sunday's semi-finals and medal matches in the mixed gender event. Other countries with tandems in the Main Draw are Australia, Austria, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy Latvia, Mexico, Norway, Russia, San Marino, Spain and the United States.
Only South American has kept the Europeans from dominating the FIVB U-18 World Championships as Brazil's Ian Borges and Pedro Solberg Salgado defeated Andreas Gortisanouk and Theodoris Papadimtriou of Greece 21-18 and 22-20 in the 2002 final. Germany's Sebastian Fuchs and Thomas Kaczmarek captured the Thailand gold medal with a 21-19, 23-25 and 18-16 over Borges and Salgado.
Presented by SWATCH, the 2004 FIVB U-18 World Championships is the first of two junior international events with the fourth annual U-21 finale next week on Porto Santo Island, Portugal's Medeira Archipelago.