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  Stare Jablonki  2006   Men's Open
10.08.2006 -  13.08.2006


China Nets First Men's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Beach Volleyball Medal

Stare Jablonki, Poland, August 13, 2006 - With the Chinese women leading their country’s Beach Volleyball efforts the past six years with 16 medals on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the men from the Asian national finally netted their first international podium finish here Sunday at the US$200,000 Mazury Open presented by the Hotel Anders.

Fifth-seeded Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu earned China’s first men’s medal with an 18-21, 22-20 and 15-10 win in 61 win over top-seeded Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes of Brazil to share the $16,000 third-place prize.  It was the Chinese’s first win in five matches against the 2005 SWATCH-FIVB World champions as Marcio Araujo and Fabo split $12,000 for fourth-place.

“As you can see, my partner is speechless,” said the 20-year old Xu, who has been playing on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour the past four seasons.  “It is an honor to be the first men’s team from our country to medal.  It is also special when you beat such a great team like the Brazilians for a spot on the podium.”

The past two weeks on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour has been “special” for the 24-year old Wu and Xu, who placed fifth last week at the Austrian grand slam in Klagenfurt for China’s best men’s finish internationally until Sunday’s win.  Wu and Xu started the season with a ninth in the Shanghai SWATCH opener in May to initially post China’s best men’s finish on the international circuit.

“In a way, we hate to take a break from competition since we are now on a roll,” Xu added.  “We have played 12-straight weeks since Shanghai and have learned a lot about playing Beach Volleyball and traveling with the best players in the world.  Right now, Poland will be a very special place in Chinese Beach Volleyball history.”

In addition to Wu and Xu’s effort, China also got a 13th-place finish from 26th-seeded Zhou Shun and Li Jian, who posted their best SWATCH finish.  With two top 13 placements, it marks China’s best-ever finish by two teams on the 20-year international circuit.

“All the Chinese teams, including the women, have been working hard in preparation for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” Xu noted.  “Right now, we have medal to show for our efforts this season.  With Olympic qualifying starting next year, this medal helps our confidence.

The Chinese now await the Mazury Open award’s ceremony where they will be joined on their first SWATCH podium by two teams from Brazil.  Top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos face third-seeded Pedro Cunha and Franco Neto for the $32,000 Mazury Open first-place prize.

Emanuel and Ricardo spoiled the Wu and Xu’s first attempt for a SWATCH medal Saturday with a 21-15 and 21-16 semi-final victory in 41 minutes over the Chinese.  Cunha and Franco advanced to the SWATCH final with a 21-19, 15-21 and 15-12 win in 60 minutes over Marcio Araujo and Fabio.

Following the third annual Mazury Open, the men take a six-week break before resuming play at the end of September in Vitoria, Brazil (September 25-October 1).

More news...
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10.08.2006 China’s Wu & Xu Net Mazury Open Main Draw Victories  
11.08.2006 Second Chinese Men’s Team Nets Second Mazury Open Main Draw Win  
11.08.2006 Chinese Join Brazilians in Mazury Open Winner’s Bracket Finals  
11.08.2006 Brazilians Chase SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Title  
12.08.2006 Chinese Net First Men’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour “Final Four” Berth  
12.08.2006 Another All-Brazilian Men’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Gold Medal Match  
13.08.2006 Olympic Champions Emanuel & Ricardo Snare Second Mazury Open Gold Medal