Rome, Italy, June 19, 2011 - Second-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego won the test of Brazilian gladiators by defeating third-seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos, 21-16, 21-15 in 38 minutes Sunday night in the men’s gold medal match of the $1 million FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships powered by smart. The event held at the unique and historically colorful Foro Italico venue and it was held for the first time in Rome.
As marble statues of Roman heroes stood sentry around the venue, sunny Roman skies bathed a FIVB Swatch World Championships’ record of over 9,000 enthusiastic fans in the Foro Italico center court Sunday as 96 two-person teams representing 31 countries started the competition Monday on five purpose-built courts within the sprawling sports complex that included the featured center court within the newly constructed Rome tennis stadium.
Sunday’s gold medal match marked a record 61st time that the men’s finale on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour has featured two teams from Brazil and the first time in the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships.
In the bronze medal match, Germany’s fourth-seeded Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann, secured their second-straight podium placement at the world championships by posting a 22-20, 18-21 and 15-11 win in 59 minutes over Latvia’s 15th-seeded Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins.
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 in prize money.
In Sunday’s gold medal match, the most celebrated player in the 25-year history of the international Beach Volleyball tour captured his third world championship gold medal with a different partner as the legendary Emanuel teamed with the 25-year old Alison to win the 2011 gold medal.
It was the fifth meeting between the two teams with Alison/Emanuel winning each time. With Alison/Emanuel winning for the third-straight time this season on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, the pair became the fifth Brazilian pair to win the world championships. Emanuel captured the 1999 world finale in France with Jose Loiola at Marseille before teaming with Ricardo to claim the top spot on the 2003 world championship podium in Rio de Janeiro.
With eight-straight wins this week to improve their winning streak to 21 Alison/ Emanuel have a 28-4 match mark this season to improve their one-plus season record together of 67-23. Emanuel now has a record 72 world tour gold medals while Alison was topping a world tour podium for the sixth-time. Emanuel is the all-time FIVB leader in tournaments played (209), matches played (1,274) and match wins (1,028).
Marcio Araujo and Ricardo finished the world championships with a 6-2 mark as their season record is now 16-9. Overall, Marcio Araujo and Ricardo are 64-16 (80.0%)together in FIVB matches.
The opening set was close as Marcio Araujo/Ricardo built a 15-12 lead, but Alison/Emanuel took over at that point, scoring nine of the final 10 points. Alison had four blocks in the set, including each of the last two points. Alison and Emanuel committed just one hitting error while forcing eight from their opponents. In the second set, Alison/Emanuel scored five straight points to make it 6-2, then extended the lead to 10-4. Marcio Araujo/ Ricardo could get no closer than three points the rest of the way, and Alison/Emanuel scored the final three points of the match. Ricardo and Alison both had two blocks in the second set.
The bronze medal match was the first FIVB match between the two teams as Germany’s Brink/Reckermann entered this week’s event as the defending world champions after capturing the 2009 finale in Stavanger, Norway. Brink/Reckermann have now claimed their 16th world tour medal in 22 FIVB events together. The Germans won seven of eight matches this week to improve their season record to 23-6. For their career, Brink/Reckermann are now 15-1 in two world championship appearances with an overall FIVB record of 113-30 (79.0%).
Plavins and Smedins, who posted a 6-2 match mark in their first-ever world championships together, are now 13-6 this season for three events. The Latvians, who were competing in their second world tour final four in 12 events, have an overall match mark of 42-24 (63.65%) as Plavins and Smedins were the first-ever team from their country to compete in the world championship’s medal rounds.
“Playing the FIVB Swatch World Championships is always something very special,” commented Reckermann. “We lost the semifinal and normally that might have been more disappointing, but after the semifinal we said, ‘one more win and we will have a medal’. We won gold two years ago, but this doesn’t feel worse, we are so happy.”
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011 presenting international beach volleyball events, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, based in Lausanne, Switzerland returned 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.
More information on this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships presented by smart, or the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour is available both www.fivb.org and at www.beachvolleyroma.com.
For more information contact:
FIVB Press Department Director
+41 79 603 3926