Press release

Men’s final four in Halifax--Germany, Poland, Russia, Switzerland

Poland's Bartosz Losiak bumps the Mikasa to Piotr Kantor as last year's silver medalists have advanced to this year's final four on Sunday of the 12th annual FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 1, 2012 – The frenzied fury of sensational serves, dynamic digs, spectacular spikes and bodacious blocks has built to a crescendo following Saturday’s men’s round of 16 and quarterfinals at Halifax Harbor as the semifinals and medal matches Sunday at the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21 will feature teams from four European countries.

This year’s 12th annual double-gender event started Wednesday in Halifax, a regional municipality of nearly 400,000 residents located in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada.

Now teams from Germany, Poland, Russia, and Switzerland have made the final four and will meet in Sunday morning’s semifinals prior to both the men’s and women’s bronze and gold medal matches on the SEA stadium center court.

The world championship event will end Sunday at the purpose-built beach volleyball SEA complex on the Salter Lot of the Halifax Waterfront as 26 countries have been represented in this double-gender world championship. This is the not only the second time in the event’s 12-year history that it is being held in North America, but also the second straight year in Halifax.

On a space-available basis, tickets will be available at the gate as the schedule will begin Sunday morning with the men’s semifinals prior to the bronze and gold medal matches for each gender. Children, five and under, are free when accompanied by an adult. The men’s semis will start at 11 a.m. with the men’s bronze medal match at 3 p.m. followed by the men’s gold medal match at 4 p.m. The women’s medal matches will be at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Starting Sunday’s final day of play in this year’s championships will be the men’s semifinals. Beginning at 11 a.m., Switzerland’s fifth-seeded Mirco Gerson/Gabriel Kissling will battle Germany’s eighth-seeded Dominik Stork/Fabian Schmidt followed by Russia’s fourth-seeded Andrey Bolgov/Artem Kucherenko challenging Poland’s third-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak at noon.

Poland’s 2011 Halifax silver medalists Kantor/Losiak, who also won the gold medal at the 2010 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championship in Porto, Portugal are the top returning men’s team from last year’s championships. Switzerland’s Gerson/Kissling finished fifth last year in Halifax while Russia’s Bolgov, playing with a different partners, was fifth last year in Halifax and fourth in 2010 in this tournament when it was held in Alanya, Turkey.

Switzerland’s Gerson/Kissling defeated Czech Republic’s 13th-seeded Ondrej Benes/Ondrej Perusic, 21-16, 21-17 in 33 minutes; Germany’s Stork/Schmidt, came from behind to topple Canada’s top-seeded Nick Del Bianco/Ben Chow, 11-21, 21-19 and 15-6 in 46 minutes; Russia’s fourth-seeded Bolgov/ Kucherenko stopped USA’s ninth-seeded Alex Jones/Kyle Stevenson in two sets, 21-18, 21-14 in 32 minutes and Poland’s Kantor/Losiak overpowered Brazil’s second-seeded brothers Gustavo Carvalhaes/Marcus Carvalhaes, 21-15, 21-17 in 31 minutes.

With their losses in the Saturday’s quarterfinals, official fifth place finishes will be recorded in Halifax for Czech Republic’s Benes/Perusic, Canada’s Del Bianco/Chow, USA’s Jones/Stevenson and Brazil’s Carvalhaes brothers.

As the competition continued to stiffen, Saturday morning’s eight matches in the round of 16 three had to go three sets to decide a winner. The first four saw Switzerland’s Gerson/Kissling eliminate Venezuela’s 22nd-seeded Gerardo Mendez/Vicente Salazar; Czech Republic’s Benes/Perusic hold on to beat USA’s 19th-seeded WestonCarico/Parker Kalmbach; Canada’s Chow/Del Bianco defeat Mexico’s 18th-seeded Ricardo Galindo/Juan Revuelta and Germany’s Schmidt/Stork overcome Norway’s 12th-seeded Runar Sannarnes/Andreas Takvan.

In the second four matches of the round of 16, USA’s Jones/Stevenson went three sets to eliminate Canada’s sixth-seeded Dallas Keith/Garrett May; Russia’s Bolgov/Kucherenko beat Latvia’s seventh-seeded Abolins Armands/Haralds Regza; Poland’s Kantor/Losiak eliminated Canada’s 26th-seeded Aaron Nusbaum/Grant O’Gorman and Brazil’s Carvalhaes brothers held on to squeeze by Austria’s 10th-seeded Cristoph Dressler/Lorenz Petutschnig.

Germany, Czech Republic and the USA were all pushed to three sets for their round of 16 victories, Brazil won in two sets, but the second was the highest-scoring men’s set in the history of these championships as the eliminated Austria, 21-17, 35-33 in 49 minutes.

All of the eight teams that were eliminated in the round of 16 will leave Halifax with official ninth place finishes in the 2012 FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships.

As the host nation, Canada has three men’s teams and four women’s teams qualified into their respective fields and the three Canadian men’s teams finished pool play in these championships in brilliant fashion by winning their respective pools with a superlative combined record of 8-0. In the single-elimination phase, however, they have all been eliminated after compiling a 1-3 record and ending he tournament with a very crowd-pleasing 9-3 overall record.

Last year’s fourth-place finisher, Canada’s May, and new teammate Keith, and Nusbaum/O’Gorman, who won the bronze medal at the 2011 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships in Umag, Croatia, were 3-0 to win their pools while the other Canadian’s men’s team in the field, Chow/Del Bianco, finished ninth in Halifax last year won their pool with a 2-0 mark. All three teams earned byes into the round of 16 of single-elimination play where both Keith/May and Nusbaum/O’Gorman lost their first matches to finish ninth in the tournament. Chow/Del Bianco won their round of 16 match before losing in the quarterfinals to earn a very respectable fifth place finish in the event.

The gold medal team in each gender in Halifax will also be rewarded by the FIVB and the organizers with wild cards and free transportation and an automatic main draw berth in a FIVB SWATCH World Tour event in 2012 or 2013. A total of 2,000 tons of special sand was transported to the SEA stadium complex to build the four competition and two practice courts for the venue, which includes the 3,000-seat featured SEA stadium center court.

A total of 2,000 tons of special sand has been transported to the Salter Sand complex to build the four competition and two practice courts for the venue, which includes the 3,000-seat stadium center court. Single day tickets for the event are on sale through the event website at Event information is available at 902.444.3773. Children, five and under, are free for the entire event when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Produced by Canada’s Sports and Entertainment Atlantic (SEA) in association with Volleyball Canada and the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), more information is available at with live streaming from center court available at

Also on-site in Halifax has been an IMG production crew who are developing special segments from both the men’s women’s competition to air in the near future as special segments on the highly-acclaimed, internationally-syndicated weekly FIVB SWATCH World Tour highlight shows.

A founding province of Canada, Nova Scotia is nearly surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and is known for its high tides, lobster, fish, blueberries and apples. Halifax was the site of the first British town in Canada, founded in 1749. Since then, the area has evolved to be home for charming fishing villages, farming communities and Atlantic Canada's largest city. Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada, has flourished as a prominent port city. Halifax was founded in 1749 by Governor Edward Cornwallis and 2,500 settlers to act as a naval and army base to protect the area, creating Canada’s first permanent British town on the world’s second-largest natural harbor. The peninsula, which Halifax is located on, is 4.5 miles wide and two miles long.

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