Rome, Italy, June 14, 2011—Making majestic marks during Tuesday’s round robin matches, men’s top three seeds Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States, Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego and Brazil’s Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos all etched victories as pool play continues at the $1 million FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships powered by smart. Featuring the world’s top 96 teams from 34 countries for both men and women two-person teams, the eighth event under the current format is being held for the first time in Rome through Sunday. The internationally-televised eighth FIVB Swatch World Championships feature 48 teams in each gender competing on five purpose-built sand courts at the historic Parco del Foro Italico in the heart of the eternal city.
With both genders competing on each of the seven-day championships, the event began with 12 pools of four teams in each playing the other three teams in their respective pool alignments. The top two teams from each pool along with the best eight third place teams will advance to the single-elimination phase of the tournament. Pool play matches for each gender started Monday and will be held Tuesday and Wednesday for women and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for men followed by the 32-team single elimination rounds starting Thursday for women and Friday for men. For both genders the semifinals will be held on Saturday evening, June 18 with the medal matches set for Sunday evening, June 19.
While Dalhausser/Rogers bounced back from their loss on Monday by defeating Angola’s 48th-seeded Morais Abreau/Mario Silva, 21-13 and 21-13 in 35 minutes, both Brazilian teams played for the first time in the tournament on Tuesday.
Alison/Emanuel, who won the last two events on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour, opened their FIVB Swatch World Championships with a 21-19, 21-18 win in 42 minutes over New Zealand’s 26th-seeded Jason Lochhead/Kirk Pitman. Marcio Araujo/Ricardo survived a three-set struggle with Switzerland’s 27th-seeded Philip Gabathuler/Jan Schnider, 21-15, 19-21 and 20-18 in 62 minutes, the longest match so far in the tournament. Dalhausser will finish their round robin pool play on Wednesday while the Brazilian tandems will play once each tomorrow and Thursday prior to the start of the single-elimination phase on Friday.
In their match, Alison had eight blocks, 22 attacks and 13 kills while teammate Emanuel recorded seven digs, 17 attacks, and nine kills. Following their win, Emanuel commented, “It's was a difficult game, we also felt under pressure given that we are playing at the FIVB Swatch World Championships. New Zealand played during the first set very well even a higher level than normal. During the second set we changed our tactics, which contributed to the flow of the match and helped us pull away. We actually have tired legs after last week’s tournament in Beijing and the long flight here, but that’s just part of life on the tour."
Reigning FIVB Swatch World Champions Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann of Germany, opened defense of their title Tuesday during the last match of the evening session. The fourth-seeded Germans defeated 28th-seeded Russia’s Alexander Likholetov/Alexey Pastukhov, 21-11, 21-13 in a 35-minute match.
One of the biggest seed breakthrough victories of the day was recorded by Poland’s 30th-seeded Gregorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel when they defeated China’s sixth-seeded Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu, 21-18 and 24-22 in a 39-minutes Foro Italico center court match. The Polish duo evened their series results with the Chinese team at 2-2 with the win. Ironically, the first time that Fijalek/Prudel defeated Wu/Xu was in three sets in last year’s Rome Grand Slam. In Tuesday’s victory, Fijalek had 22 kills and nine digs while Prudel contributed 10 kills and five blocks.
Playing in their first world championship and with a fifth place finish in last year’s Rome Grand Slam here at the Foro Italico, Fijalek said after his team’s victory, “We’re playing in tough pool, full of strong teams from Norway, Italy and China, but we know that when we play well, we can do good. We just need to stay consistent, but that can be hard to do because the great teams can take you out of your rhythm during a match.”
Also winning for the second time in two days was 24th-seeded Casey Jennings/Kevin Wong of the United States. After defeating top-seeded fellow Americans Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers in two sets on Monday, Jennings/Wong on Tuesday defeated 25th-seeded French brothers Andy and Kevin Ces in three sets, 19-21, 21-9 and 15-10 in 48 minutes. On Wednesday they will finish pool play with a match against Angola’s Abreau/Silva, giving Jennings/Wong the distinct opportunity of winning their pool outright which will give them either the first or second seed for the single-elimination phase.
More information on this year’s FIVB Swatch World Championships powered by smart is available both www.fivb.org and at www.beachvolleyroma.com.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011 presenting international beach volleyball events, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, based in Lausanne, Switzerland returns for the third consecutive season to Rome and the FIVB Swatch World Tour has had at least one event in Italy since 1989 except for 1993, 1994 and 2002. The FIVB Swatch World Championships at the Parco del Foro Italico will mark the 17th time a men’s event has been held in Italy and the 10th time for the women. Built on the grounds of the Stadio Olympico from the 1960 Rome Olympics, the magnificent Parco del Foro Italico is a major international tennis and sports complex being converted for use as a beach volleyball complex for the FIVB Swatch World Championships. The venue, artistically designed and completed in stages between 1928 and 1938, will have five competition courts with the featured center court being in the 10,000-seat main tennis stadium at the Foro Italico.
The previous FIVB Swatch World Championships in the current format were held in Los Angeles (1997), Marseille, France (1999), Klagenfurt, Austria (2001), Rio de Janeiro (2003), Berlin (2005), Gstaad, Switzerland (2007) and Stavanger, Norway (2009). The first FIVB World Championships were held in Brazil in 1987, prior to the start of the current format that began in 1997.
The 2011 calendar features 15 women's and 14 men's events within all five FIVB confederations plus one special 24-team single-gender women’s test event held August 9-14 at London’s Horse Guards Parade, the venue for beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour is offering $7.64-million in prize money. Twelve of the tournaments are combined men's and women's events, including the World Championships and all six Grand Slam stops.
After the FIVB Swatch World Championships, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour takes one week off before it continues with three consecutive Grand Slam double-gender events: June 27 to July 3 in Stavanger, Norway (ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger 2011), July 4-9 in Gstaad, Switzerland (1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam) and July 11-16 in Moscow (Moscow Grand Slam). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is US$600,000. Also on the international calendar during this window and immediately following the FIVB Swatch World Championships will be the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Youth World Championships, for players under 19 years old, June 21-26 in Umag, Croatia.
The 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships media guide is now available online in the media section of each gender’s tournament page.
For more information contact:
FIVB Press Department Director
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