Rome, Italy, June 16, 2011—Four days of men’s pool play ended Thursday as 32 of the original 48 teams that started play on Monday will begin the single-elimination phase Friday of the $1 million FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships powered by smart. The world’s top two-person teams are competing in the eighth FIVB Swatch World Championships under the current format. The majestic event, held at a unique and historically colorful venue which continues through Sunday and is being held for the first time in Rome.
With four teams completing their pool play on Wednesday, the remaining eight finished Thursday and the final field of 32 was set for the single-elimination “knockout” rounds.
The internationally-televised eighth FIVB Swatch World Championships started 48 teams in each gender, from 31 countries, 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 have advanced to the single-elimination phase of the tournament. For both genders the semifinals will be held on Saturday evening, June 18 with the medal matches set for Sunday evening, June 19.
The final eight pool winners who completed play Thursday were led by defending FIVB Swatch World Champions Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann of Germany, who are seeded fourth. Additionally, winning their pools Thursday were: Brazil’s second-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, Brazil’s third-seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos, Brazil’s 12th-seeded Rhooney Ferramenta/Pedro Salgado, Latvia’s 15th-seeded Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins, Netherland’s 17th-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil, Germany’s 20th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik and Poland’s 30th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel.
Those eight teams will join the four who finishing round robin play Wednesday and won their pools--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.
In all, eight countries are represented with pool winners, including three from Brazil and two each from Germany and the United States.
Reigning FIVB Swatch World Champions Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann of Germany continued their march to a repeat crown Thursday with their Third pool play victory. After scoring their first round robin win Tuesday and second on Wednesday, the fourth-seeded Germans defeated Poland’s 45th-seeded Michael Kadziola/Jakob Szalankiewicz, 21-18, 21-14 in 44 minutes.
In their final pool play match, Brink was credited with 19 attacks, 10 kills, 11 digs and two ace serves while Reckermann contributed 30 attacks, 18 kills, three digs, two blocks and one ace.
Like Brink/Reckermann, Brazil’s Cerutti/Rego, were undefeated in winning their pool, capped by Thursday’s two set win over Ukraine’s 47th-seeded Mykola Babich/Oleksandr Ioisher, 21-13, 21-13 in 30 minutes.
Statistically in the match, Alison recorded 22 attacks, 15 kills, four blocks, one dig and two aces and Emanuel had 14 attacks, 10 kills, six digs and one ace.
Brazil’s Marcio Araujo/Ricardo won their pool with a 2-1, ending Thursday with a three set victory in 54 minutes over Canada’s 46th-seeded Christian Redmann/Ben Saxton, 23-21, 17-21 and 15-11.
“First, I don’t think we have played so good in the pool”, said Marcio, “but I think it is most important for the team to stay together and we’re playing together and share the good vibrations with one another. We have taken a big step towards getting a good result here. Everybody here wants to win. This is good for us because it puts pressure on us, puts pressure on them and there’s pressure on us. The most important thing is us for us to play together and we have to have more energy and more power than the other teams. All the Brazilians, the Germans, the USA, the Netherlands. These are the guys that have a chance to get a good result here. I think that includes us.”
Poland’s Fijalek/Prudel captured their pool with a 3-0 match mark by defeating teams from China, Italy and Norway to secure Poland’s best ever placement in the World Championships with a guaranteed 17th. After placing fourth last week at the Beijing Grand Slam, Fijalek/Prudel posted a 21-18 and 24-22 upset win over sixth-seeded Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu of China on Tuesday to start pool play. They followed that with a 21-19 and 21-14 victory over 43rd-seeded Daniele Lupo/Andrea Tomatis of Italy. Fijalek/Prudel ended pool play Thursday with a 21-18 and 21-16 win in 37 minutes over Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr of Norway.
Poland’s 45th-seeded Michal Kadziola/Jakub Szalankiewicz also squeezed their way into the final 32, guaranteeing Poland two finishes of at least 17th. The Polish pair were the lowest seeded team to earn a spot in the elimination rounds.
Seeded 44th, Austria’s Clemens Doppler/Matthias Mellitzer barely made it into the main draw, using a classic “I” formation in their final match, which contributed significantly to their upset over Germany’s fifth-seeded Eric Koreng/David Klemperer, 21-14, 21-19 in 41 minutes.
Said Doppler, “The I-formation worked in both games. Our opponents made a lot of serving mistakes or gave us easy balls. Additionally they often served me, so that we created a totally new situation for them.“
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.
In a short break from action on the courts Thursday, the FIVB officially launched its new “FIVB Heroes’ campaign with the unveiling of two giant three-dimensional statues, each four meters high (approx. 13 feet), and 727 pounds, of FIVB Heroes three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh of the United States and Brazil’s Emanuel Rego, an Olympic champion and two-time World Champion. Placed just between the Foro Italico center court and the four outer courts, Walsh and Emanuel participated in a photo session both in front of and on the three-foot high base of the remarkable statues that fit right in with the numerous Roman statues permanently placed throughout the venue.
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