Women's competition, Klagenfurt
From 28 July To 31 July 2004

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Klagenfurt honoured to host Olympic Games Beach Volleyball Drawing of Lots
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 07, 2004 - The FIVB announced on Wednesday that Klagenfurt in Austria, one of the most popular venues on the Swatch-FIVB World Tour, will host the Drawing of Lots for the Beach Volleyball competition at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece on July 31.

The Drawing of Lots is a crucial step in the process to establish the seeding of the Beach Volleyball tournaments at the Olympics and Klagenfurt, which first hosted an FIVB Beach Volleyball event in 1996, is a fitting venue for the ceremony where the 24 men's and 24 women's teams qualified for the Olympic Games will be drawn into six pools of four teams for pool play in accordance to the FIVB regulations approved at the last World Congress. The Drawing of Lots will then allow the FIVB and ATHOC to determine the match schedule of the first days of the competition.

The Klagenfurter Wappensaal, which is a 300-year-old hall in the middle of Klagenfurt steeped in history and tradition, will host the ceremony where FIVB dignitaries, players, coaches, promoters and sponsors will be present. The draw will take place on the Saturday night, on the eve of the final day of the Austrian Double Gender Grand Slam, which offers US$270,000 in prize money to each gender and is the final tournament on the Swatch-FIVB World Tour prior to the Olympic Games.

"Being one of the signature events on the Swatch-FIVB World Tour Klagenfurt is an excellent venue for holding the Olympic Games Drawing of Lots," FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta said. "It will be a wonderful occasion marking one of the most important steps towards the Olympic Games."

"It is an honour and privilege to host such an event to coincide with the Austrian Grand Slam," said Mr. Hannes Jagerhofer, from ACTS, promoter of the Grand Slam. "Knowing the importance of the occasion we are expecting to host a wonderful event which can attract further exposure for the Carinthia region.

"We are accustomed to the promoter and local organizing team hosting a spectacular event when it comes to the Austrian Grand Slam and we are expecting the same for the Drawing of Lots ceremony," FIVB Beach Volleyball coordinator Mr. Angelo Squeo said. "The occasion of the Olympic Games Drawing of Lots demands a top venue which can attract the media from all over the world and Klagenfurt is an ideal location for such an event."

"Carinthia and its events have set an international benchmark in the last years," said the Govenor of Carinthia Dr. Jörg Haider. "The A1 Beach Volleyball Grand Slam is one of our most exciting events. The Wörthersee's unmatchable atmosphere and the enthusiastic crowd have elevated the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam in Carinthia to one of the best events on the Swatch-FIVB World Tour. On this note, I am very pleased that the drawing of lots for the Olympic Games Beach Volleyball tournament in Athens will be part of our event in Austria."

The Olympic Games qualifying process, which started in January, 2003, and includes results of tournaments on the Swatch-FIVB World Tour as well as recognised Continental finals, will conclude on July 22, when the 24 men's teams and 24 women's teams for the Games (with a maximum of two teams per country) will be formally announced by the FIVB. The final Swatch-FIVB World Tour event offering Olympic qualification points is the Spanish Double Gender Open in Mallorca, which runs from July 6-11.

The Olympic Games Beach Volleyball competition will be played in a pool play format with 24 teams followed by single elimination with 16 a team roster, a similar system to which had been used on the Swatch-FIVB World Tour in 2002 and 2003.