Gstaad, Switzerland June 17-21 2003
ALPINE SCORCHER FOR BEACH VOLLEYBALL FANS
The Swiss Alps are more usually associated with downhill skiing and snowboarding, but for the fourth year running the World Beach Volleyball Tour returns to ritzy
Gstaad, one of the most beautiful Swiss alpine resorts for the 2003 Swiss Open.
With its Alpine backdrop and chalet-style setting, last year's event defied the usual weather conditions as the world's elite players battled it out in bright sunshine and soaring temperatures. Indeed, the mercury climbed so high in the thermometer that the capacity crowd that filled the stands on the final day revelled in being cooled down with a spray from the fire hose.
In conditions well suited to their own country it was therefore no surprise that two South American teams reached the final, with 2002 World Tour champions Baracetti-Conde securing their first title of the season with a convincing 21-14, 21-15 victory over Brazilian duo Marcio
The Argentinean World Champions had reached the final of the season-opening event in Berlin a week earlier and made amends for their loss to Brazil's Para-Harley by winning in the Alpine sunshine.
"It was a similar situation to Berlin, with a Brazilian team on the other side of the net - but this time we felt we had the stronger cards," said a delighted 'Mono'
Baracetti, who, along with the other medallists, also received a traditional set of cowbells from the
The 2001 Swiss Open champions, Americans Wong-Metzger, made a brave attempt to defend their title but were beaten 2-1 by Marcio
Araujo-Benjamin in the semi-finals. However, they at least managed to secure the bronze medal with a 21-18, 21-14 victory over Roberto Lopez-Franco in the 3/4th place playoff.
Wong and Metzger also ended local hopes when they defeated
Heyer-Egger by two sets to one. Heyer-Egger were one of four Swiss teams in the men's event and although they won their group to reach the last 16, they were unable to overcome their American opponents and claim a quarter-final place.
After the Swiss Open the men's World Beach Volleyball Tour moves on to Berlin for the $300,000 German Grand Slam, the first of four this season.
2002 Podium (Men)
1. Baracetti-Conde (ARG)
Baracetti Profile / Biography
Alejo Conde Biography
2. Marcio Araujo-Benjamin (BRA)
Araujo Biography Profile
Insfran Biography - Profile
3. Wong-Metzger (USA)