Rome, Italy, June 15, 2011—With the women’s final 32 teams set Wednesday, the men’s division finalized four of 12 pools with the balance to be determined Thursday 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, finishing Wednesday for women and four of 12 for men. The men will finish Thursday and on Friday begin their 32-team single elimination rounds, which the women will start Thursday. For both genders the semifinals will be held on Saturday evening, June 18 with the medal matches set for Sunday evening, June 19.
Reigning FIVB Swatch World Champions Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann of Germany continued their march to a repeat crown Wednesday with their second pool play victory. After scoring their first round robin win Tuesday, the fourth-seeded Germans defeated Switzerland’s 21st-seeded Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher, 21-17, 21-13 in a 39-minute match.
Four men’s pools finished play on Wednesday and those teams will have Thursday while the other pools finish and the final 32 teams are determined.
In their win over the Swiss, Brink had 19 attacks, 13 kills, nine digs and one ace serve. Reckermann was credited with 17 attacks, 13 kills, one dig and four blocks. Brink/Reckermann have won four FIVB career gold medals in 22 events played together. So far this season, the German duo finished in fifth place in Brasilia, third in Shanghai and second last week in Beijing. This is Brink’s fourth FIVB Swatch World Championship and second with Reckermann. For Reckermann, this is his sixth World Championship participation.
“We kept our concentration high,” commented the 6-7 Reckermann following Wednesday’s win. “We didn't let our opponents score many points. Every game we play is a new game, even if we can win the pool.” We want to go on now. The atmosphere in Rome is great and we really enjoy it. We are here to successfully defend our FIVB Swatch World Championship."
Finishing round robin play Wednesday and winning their pools were USA’s seventh-seeded Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena, Spain’s ninth-seeded Adrian Gavira Collado/Pablo Herrera, Czech Republic’s 11th-seeded Petr Benes/Premsyl Kubala and USA’s 24th-seeded Casey Jennings/Kevin Wong.
Two of the men’s top three seeds Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States, Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, both picked up pool play wins Wednesday while Brazil’s third-seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos lost on Wednesday after winning their match on Tuesday.
Dalhausser/Rogers, who lost to Jennings/Wong on Monday, defeated Angola’s 48th-seeded Morais Abreau/Mario Silva on Tuesday before defeating France’s 25th-seeded Andy and Kevin Ces, 21-19, 21-13 in 37 minutes on Wednesday.
“The Cés brothers are a good team,” said Dalhausser. “Perhaps tonight they did not have a great performance so our victory was less complicated than expected. I cannot play my best because of my ankle injury, but my condition has visibly improved thanks to a little rest I had. We are here to defend our title (last year’s Rome Grand Slam) and we will try our best every game even though we are not in the best condition. We aim to reach the semifinals at least”.
Alison/Emanuel, who won the last two events on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour, opened their FIVB Swatch World Championships with a win on Tuesday over a team from New Zealand and on Wednesday were victorious over Denmark’s 23rd-seeded Anders Lund Hoyer/Bo Soderberg, 21-18, 22-24 and 15-10 in 55 minutes.
Marcio Araujo/Ricardo lost on Wednesday to Netherland’s 22nd-seeded Emiel Boersma/Daan Spijkers in a 56-minute three-set match, 21-12, 17-21 and 10-15.
USA’s Fuerbringer/Lucena ended pool play with a 3-0 record with win on Wednesday being over Georgia’s 31st-seeded Renato “Geor” Gomes/Jorge “Gia” Terceiro.
Spain’s Gavira Collado/Herrera won their pool with a 2-1 record with their final victory on Wednesday against Switzerland’s 40th-seeded Martin Laciga/Jonas Weingart.
Czech Republic’s Benes/Kubala finished pool play with a 3-0 record after defeating Italy’s 14th-seededMatteo Martino/Paolo Nicolai in their lone match on Thursday.
Jennings/Wong, who upset top-seeded Dalhausser/Rogers on Monday, ended up 3-0 in pool play after Wednesday’s win over Angola’s Abreau/Silva.
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
+41 79 603 3926