STAVANGER, NORWAY, July 1, 2006 - Germany’s David Klemperer and Kjell Schneider denied Brazil a chance to gain all four semi-final spots here Saturday afternoon as three teams from the South American country advanced in the US$580,000 ConocoPhillips Grand Slam.
The Brazilians were looking to fill all four semi-final spots for the sixth time in SWATCH-FIVB World Tour history since the start of the men’s international circuit in 1987. Since the inaugural ConocoPhillips Grand Slam in 1999, Brazil has claimed 15 of the 21 medals with two podium sweeps.
Klemperer, who earned a ConocoPhillips Grand Slam silver medal in 2004 with Niklas Rademacher, and Schneider ousted 25th-seeded Pedro Cunha and Franco Neto of Brazil 21-18, 15-21 and 15-11 to advance to a semi-final-qualifying match against 13th-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina.
The Argentineans, who captured a 2003 ConocoPhillips Grand Slam silver medal, advanced to their match against Klemperer and Schneider by scoring a 21-14 and 21-16 victory over ninth-seeded Iver Horrem and Bard-Inge Pettersen of Norway.
Other semi-final-qualifying matches will have Brazilians playing teams from Italy, Germany and Switzerland as the South Americans winning elimination matches Saturday were top-seeded Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, second-seeded Marcio Araujo/Fabio Magalhaes and fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran/Harley Marques.
Three-time defending ConocoPhillips Grand Slam champions, Emanuel and Ricardo eliminated 18th-seeded Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu of China in three sets. Marcio Araujo/Fabio and Benjamin/Harley scored straight-set wins over 10th-seeded Jorre Kjemperud/Tarjei Skarlund of Norway and sixth-seeded Kristjan Kais/Rivo Vesik of Estonia, respectively.
Emanuel and Ricardo, who have a 22-1 Vagen Harbour record with 21-straight wins, play 20th-seeded Sascha Heyer and Paul Laciga of Switzerland for a spot in the semi-finals against the winner of the Germany/Argentina match. The Swiss have now posted their best SWATCH-FIVB World Tour finish this year after eliminating rivals Markus Laciga and Martin Laciga in three sets.
The 2005 SWATCH-FIVB World champions, Marcio Araujo and Fabio face 12th-seeded Ricardo Lione and Matteo Varnier of Italy for a semi-final spot opposite the winner of the match between Benjamin and Harley against third-seeded Julius Brink and Christoph Dieckmann of Germany.
The second of seven-straight double gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the ConocoPhillips Grand Slam “concludes Sunday for the men when the final two teams will be competing for the $42,300 first-place prize. The women’s competition ends Saturday with an All-Brazilian finale between top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca and third-seeded Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede.