Men's South Africa Open 2004
Cape Town, March 23-28

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Canada, France & Netherlands Pace Qualifying Winners
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, March 23, 2004 - Two teams each from Canada, France and Netherlands won elimination bracket matches here Tuesday during the opening rounds of the 35-team Qualification Tournament for the US$180,000 South Africa Open.

After country quota playoffs for South Africa and the United States in the morning, 14 elimination bracket matches were played in the afternoon that featured only one seed break-through as 17th-seeded Mario Silva and Miguel Xisto of Angola scored a 21-19 and 21-16 win over 16th-seeded Kentaro Asahi and Koichi Nishimura of Japan.

With the win, Silva and Xisto face Eric Fonoimoana and Kevin Wong of the United States, the top-seeded Qualification Tournament team Wednesday morning with the winner advancing to the 32-team Main Draw for the second men's event on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The Main Draw starts Thursday morning with the finals being played Sunday afternoon.

The Americans won a country quota match Tuesday morning and had a first-round bye in the elimination bracket along with second-seeded Raul Papaleo and Ramon Hernandez of Puerto Rico, who play 15th-seeded Julius Brink and Kjell Schneider of Germany for a spot in the main Draw.

The Canadian teams of Jody Holden/Ahren Cadieux and Conrad Leinemann/Richard Van Huizen meet Robert Nowotny/Peter Gartmayer of Austria and Ogier Molinier/Guilherm Deulofeu of France, respectively, in additional Main Draw qualifying matches Wednesday.

Kevin Ces and Yannick Salvetti, France's second winner Tuesday, challenges Juan Garcia Thompson and Antonio Cotrino of Spain for a Main Draw berth. Ces and Salvetti qualified for the Brazil Main Draw last week along with Kristjan Kais and Rivo Vesik of Estonia and Japan's Watanabe and Katsuhiro Shiratori. Kais and Vesik play the Japanese Wednesday for a berth in "money" rounds.

The Dutch tandems of Sander Mulder/Richard Kogel and Max Backer/Emiel Boersma face Fabio Galli/Riccardo Fenili of Italy, and Roman Arkaev/Dmitri Barsouk of Russia, respectively, in other elimination matches for a spot in the Main Draw.

South Africa, who has placed three teams in the Main Draw (Gershon Rorich/Colin Pocock, David Hodge/Ryan Wentzel and Dominic Shane Goliath/Andile Masinga), had all eight teams eliminated from the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event Tuesday, including four in the elimination bracket after another four tandems were ousted in the country quota playoffs.