Men's competition, Carolina
From 9 June To 13 June 2004

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Host Puerto Rico Nets Fourth Main Draw Berth
CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO, June 10, 2004 - For only the second-time this season, a team from a host country has advanced from a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour qualifier to the Main Draw here Thursday as Fernando Morales and Davie Quinonez became the fourth Puerto Rican team to enter the "money" rounds of this week's US$180,000 Carolina Open.

The sixth of 10 Olympic qualifying events for the Beach Volleyball competition 2004 Athens Games on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the Carolina Open Qualification Tournament also saw Beach Volleyball tandems from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Japan, Mexico New Zealand and Norway advance from the preliminary competition.

In an All-Puerto Rican match, the tenth-seeded Morales and Quinonez defeated ninth-seeded Ramon Diaz and Joseph Neira, 21-14, 16-21 and 15-8 to advance to the Main Draw. "Obviously, we were lucky to play another team from Puerto Rico in the first elimination matches Thursday, said Morales. "We are thrilled about playing in the Main Draw, especially in front of our families and friends."

By hosting this week's event, Puerto Rico had already placed three tandems automatically in the 32-team Main Draw, including Ramon Hernandez/Raul Papaleo, Osualdo Barraras/Antonio Rondon and Willie De Jesus/Amaury Velasco. De Jesus.

Brazil advanced two teams from its Salvador qualifier to the Main Draw in the 2004 season opener. The host country could not advance a team to the Main Draw in the next four qualifying events in South Africa, China, Serbia and Montenegro, and Portugal.

Two of the nine qualifying tandems did not have to play a match in the 18-team Qualification Tournament that started Wednesday with a country quota playoff for Puerto Rico. Pedro Cunha/Pará Ferreira of Brazil and Kjell Goranson/Tarjei Skarlund of Norway, the top two-seeded teams in the Qualification Tournament, earned byes Thursday to enter the Main Draw without playing.

Cunha, who won the men's FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships U-21 championship last August in France with Pedro Solberg Salgad, celebrated his 21st birthday Thursday. Goranson and Skarlund are skipping the European Championships this week to participate in the Carolina Open where Friday's action begins at 8 a.m.

Other Main Draw qualifiers from Thursday's action were third-seeded Florian Gosch/Bernhard Strauss of Austria, fourth-seeded Milen Stoyanov/Boris Yankov of Bulgaria, fifth-seeded Jason Lochhead/Kirk Pitman of New Zealand, sixth-seeded Shinpei Aoki/Hayato Kirihara of Japan, seventh-seeded Matt Jones/Adam Maskall of Australia and 15th-seeded Aldo Miramontes/Cesar Perez, Mexico (15).

A total of 16 countries will be represented in the 32-team Main Draw. Forty matches will be played Friday followed by 18 Saturday and four Sunday when the winning team shares the $27,000 first-place prize.