Rome, Italy, June 17, 2011—Out of the struggle and fury in the sand, eight men’s teams remain standing and will head into Saturday’s quarterfinals and semifinals at 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 the unique and historically colorful Foro Italico venue continues through Sunday and is being held for the first time in Rome.
Among the many highlights of the day, teams from Denmark and Latvia both advanced teams to Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinals for the first time in the history of the FIVB Swatch World Championships, guaranteeing each at least a fifth place finish in this year’s event. Playing against each other on Saturday in one of the quarterfinal matchups will be Latvia’s 15th-seeded Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins and Denmark’s 23rd-seeded Anders Lund Hoyer/Bo Soderberg.
In another surprising seed break through, Poland’s 30th-seeded Grezegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel defeated Brazil’s eighth-seeded Benjamin Insfran/Bruno Oscar Schmidt in two sets to advance to a quarterfinal matchup against Germany’s fourth-seeded Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann.
Brink/Reckermann, the reigning FIVB Swatch World Champions, battled back in their round of 16 match to eliminate USA’s top-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers, 17-21, 21-19 and 18-16 in 61 minutes.
Following their two ‘knockout round’ match wins on Friday, international beach volleyball powerhouse Brazil has three teams in the quarterfinals along with Spain advancing to Saturday’s action. Heading to the quarterfinals for Brazil will be second-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, third-seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos and 12th-seeded Rhooney Ferramenta/Pedro Salgado. Also playing Saturday afternoon will be Spain’s ninth-seeded Adrian Gavira Collado/Pablo Herrera.
In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Gavira/Collado will play against Brazil’s Ferramenta/Salgado while Brazilian compatriots Alison/Emanuel and Marcio Araujo/Santos will face off.
For both genders the semifinals will be held on Saturday evening, June 18 with the medal matches set for Sunday evening, June 19.
Before several thousand fans in the inspiring Foro Italico center court, Brink/Reckermann battled back from large deficits in both the second and third sets to claim the victory over the 2008 Olympic champions Dalhausser/Rogers. Brink/Reckermann improved their overall head-to-head record against the Americans to 3-5.
Statistically in the match that brought the fans to their feet repeatedly with the impressive play of both teams, Bring had 26 kills, six digs and three ace serves while Reckermann connected with 13 kills in 16 attacks for an impressive .688 hitting percentage. Reckermann also tallied three digs, four blocks and one ace.
For the Americans, Dalhausser ended with 22 kills, two digs and a match-high eight blocks while Rogers totals included seven kills and a game-high 11 digs.
Following the hard-fought match, Reckermann commented, “We played against the most difficult opponents we could find all over the world and it was important to beat them. That was a real battle on the court. At these levels the mental aspect is the most important. One should never let the opponents go and always stay focused. The match was played hard throughout the two last points of the tie break and who had the nerves more steady won it. It was the most difficult match we’ve had so far, but from now, every game is important."
Spain’s Gavira/Herrera overcame home-country stars Matteo Martino/Paolo Nicolai, 14th seeds, 21-18, 18-21 and 15-11 in 49 minutes. Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel closed the evening with a 21-17, 21-17 win in 36 minutes over Russia’s 16th-seeded Yaroslav Koshokarev/Kanstanin Semenov.
Brazil’s Ferramenta/Salgado, a new team this week as Salgado’s regular teammate this year-Pedro Cunha-was injured in last week’s Beijing Grand Slam, stayed alive by knocking off USA’s seventh-seeded Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena, 21-19, 15-21 and 15-13 in 51 minutes.
With Fuerbringer/Lucena losing to Ferramenta/Salgado, the United States will not have a team in the men’s FIVB Swatch World Championships semifinals for only the second-time in the eight events since 1997. Previously, the Americans worst men’s placement in a world championships was a seventh in 2005 at Berlin by Dalhausser/Rogers when the competition featured a 48-team double-elimination bracket as compared to pool play/single-elimination that have been used in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2011. The USA men placed second and third in 1997 worlds (Los Angeles) followed by a fifth in 1999 (Marseille), fourth in 2001 (Klagenfurt), second in 2003 (Rio de Janeiro), first in 2007 (Gstaad) and third in 2009 (Stavanger).
In Friday’s round of 32, Latvia’s Plavins/Smedins eliminated Brazil’s 18th-seeded Harley Marques/Thiago Santos Barbosa and in the round of 16 defeated Germany’s 20th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik. Denmark’s Lund Hoyer/Soderberg advanced by defeating Switzerland’s 29th-seeded Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer in their first match and then in the second they beat Austria’s 44th-seeded Clemens Doppler/Matthais Mellitzer.
There was a pair of major upsets in the Round of 32 earlier in the day on Friday in the men’s competition. Austria’s Doppler/Mellitzer defeated USA’s Casey Jennings/Kevin Wong in three sets, 17-21, 21-16 and 18-16 in 55 minutes. In the other significant speed break through, Russia’s Koshokarev/ Semenov beat China’s sixth-seeded Penggen Wu, Linyin Xu, 21-19, 21-17 in 37 minutes.
Of the $1 million purse, the gold medal teams in each gender will split $60,000, the silver medal teams $45,000, the bronze medal teams $35,000 and the fourth place finishers will split $28,000. All 16 of the losing teams on Friday finished tied for 17th place and each will split $7,000 in prize money. The men will play their quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Saturday afternoon and evening with their medal matches schedule for Sunday late afternoon and evening.
The internationally-televised eighth FIVB Swatch World Championships started with 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 advanced to the single-elimination phase of the tournament.
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 Rome 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. More information on this year’s FIVB Swatch World Championships presented by smart is available both www.fivb.org and at www.beachvolleyroma.com.
For more information contact:
FIVB Press Department Director
+41 79 603 3926