|BERLIN, GERMANY, June 23, 2004 - The final eight Beach Volleyball slots for the men's Main Draw in the US$600,000 Smart Grand Slam were determined here Wednesday with two tandems from host Germany along with teams from Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Russia and the United States advancing from the Qualification Tour.
The 32-team men's Main Draw starts Thursday with two rounds of play in the winner's bracket. The Smart Grand Slam concludes Sunday on the Schlossplatz Sunday afternoon when the final two teams play for the share of the $43,000 first-place prize.
Surviving upsets Wednesday to advance to the Main Draw was three of the top six-seeded teams, including top-seeded Nikolas Berger/Clemens Doppler of Austria, second-seeded Todd Rogers/Sean Scott of the United States and fifth-seeded Stephane Canet/Mathieu Hamel of France.
Germany will now have six teams in the men's Main Draw after the qualification of 15th-seeded Julius Brink/Kjell Schneider and 33rd-seeded Marvin Polte/Thorsten Schoen. Other teams advancing to the Main Draw were Jody Holden/Conrad Leinemann of Canada (No. 8-seeded qualifier), Fabio Magalhães/Paulo Emilio Silva of Brazil (9) and Roman Arkaev/Ditmitri Barsouk of Russia (12)
The Smart Grand Slam, the second of five-straight mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, is weighted heavier in terms of Olympic qualifying points as compared to other tournaments on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.
In addition to the increased prize money for the event, the Main Draw teams will also receive a "big" boost in placement points. For the Smart Grand Slam, the winning team will receive 600 points with the total decreasing by 60 points per place.
Part of the Olympic Beach Volleyball process, the Smart Grand Slam is the second of four-straight events in Europe before the July 11 deadline to determine the 24 men's teams for the 2004 Athens Games in August. The process concludes with events in Norway and Spain.
PAST SMART GRAND SLAM MEN'S "PODIUM" TEAMS
Year - Gold Medal / Silver Medal / Bronze Medal
1995 - Jan Kvalheim/Björn Maaseide, Norway / Franco Neto/Roberto Lopes, Brazil / Emanuel Rego/Zé Marco de Melo, Brazil
1996 - John Child/Mark Heese, Canada / Guilherme Marques/Pará Ferreira, Brazil / Julien Prosser/Lee Zahner, Australia
1997 - Emanuel/Zé Marco, Brazil / Guilherme/Pará, Brazil / Kvalheim/Maaseide, Norway
1998 - Jorre Kjemperud/Vegard Hoidalen, Norway / Guilherme/Pará, Brazil / Ricardo SantosZé Marco, Brazil
1999 - RicardoMarco, Brazil / Martin Laciga/Paul Laciga, Switzerland / Javier Bosma/Fabio Diez, Spain
2001 - Prosser/Zahner, Australia / M. Laciga/P. Laciga, Switzerland / Emanuel/Tande Ramos, Brazil
2002 - Harley Marques/Pará, Brazil / Mariano Baracetti/Martin Conde, Argentina / Markus Dieckmann/Jonas Reckermann, Germany
2003 - Franco/Harley, Brazil / Baracetti/Conde, Argentina / Emanuel/Ricardo, Brazil