Men's competition, Gstaad
From 16 June To 20 June 2004

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Brazil, Germany & Switzerland Men's Beach Volleyball Semi-Finalists
GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, June 19, 2004 - It will be South America against Europe here Sunday as two teams from Brazil earned spots in the men's Beach Volleyball semi-finals of the US$360,000 1to1 Energy Open along with tandems from Germany and Switzerland.

"Not only did we have to contend with the cold elements and the crowd," said Marcio Araujo after his win in Saturday's last game with Benjamin Insfran against the Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul), "but we had to control our emotions with each other. We are very competitive, and for moment in the third set, we had to regain our focus."

The fourth-seeded Brazilians overcame a 5-2 lead by the Swiss brothers to score a hard-fought 21-18, 15-21 and 15-13 win in 63 minutes over the Lacigas to advance to Sunday's semi-finals against third-seeded Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany.

Benjamin and Marcio Araujo rebounded from a 21-14 and 21-16 set-back to top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil earlier Saturday afternoon to earn the last "final four" ticket. Emanuel and Ricardo joined the Dieckmann and Reckermann, the 2004 European Champions, as the first two "final four" qualifiers as both teams enter Sunday's semi-finals with 4-0 records.

Second-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland captured the third spot in the semi-finals by eliminating eighth-seeded Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger 25-23 and 21-15 in 39 minutes in an All-Switzerland match. Heuscher and Kobel had to play an extra match Thursday after losing 21-16 and 21-18 to Dieckmann and Reckermann.

For the teams of Emanuel/Ricardo and the Dieckmann/Reckermann, the semi-final advancement continues a string of "final four" successes for both teams. Playing in their sixth SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event this season, Emanuel and Ricardo have won events in Brazil, Serbia and Portugal before skipping last week's event in Puerto Rico.

Dieckmann and Reckermann are now four-for-four in "final four" placements this season on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. After reaching the semi-finals in the season opener in Brazil, the Germans missed the next two events due to Dieckmann's abdominal strain.

After missing events in South Africa and China, the Germans returned to post a second in Serbia and a fourth in Portugal. Dieckmann and Reckermann missed Puerto Rico to participate in the European Championships in Germany where they defeated Heyer and Egger in the finals.

Heuscher and Kobel, who placed third in the European Championships last week, will be competing in their third SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" this season. The Swiss pair placed second to Emanuel and Ricardo in Brazil and earned the bronze medal in Serbia and Montenegro Open.

Benjamin and Marcio Araujo, the defending 1to1 Energy Open champions when they defeated Dieckmann and Reckermann in the 2003 finals, did not play together in the first three FIVB stops this season. Following Marcio Araujo's appendix surgery in February, the Brazilians returned to the circuit to place seventh in the Serbia, third in Portugal and fifth in Puerto Rico last week.

The men's Main Draw concludes Sunday when the final two teams compete for the $27,000 first-place prize. The 1to1 Energy Open is the first of four-straight mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The United States' Misty May and Kerri Walsh won the women's title by defeated Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede in the gold medal match Saturday afternoon.