Men's competition, Klagenfurt
From 28 July To 1 August 2004

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Christoph Dieckmann Beats Twin Brother to A1 Grand Slam "Final Four"
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 31, 2004 - For once this season, the younger Dieckmann twin gained an edge on his older brother as the four-minute younger Christopher teamed with Andreas Scheuerpflug to net a spot the "final four" here Saturday of the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam.

Seeded 11th in the 32-team Main Draw, the Germans posted an 18-21, 21-14 and 16-14 in 57 minutes over 23rd-seeded Julien Prosser and Mark Williams of Australia to advance to their second "final four" this season and third in their 23-event SWATCH-FIVB World Tour career together.

Sunday's first semi-final was captured by fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo, the A1 Grand Slam defending champions, as the Brazilians did not allow upset-minded a Jochem DeGruijter and Gijs Ronnes from the Netherlands a chance for another "surprise" win with a 21-9 and 21-17 victory in 36 minutes.

"I think the Dutch surprised enough teams this week," said Marcio Araujo after the match about the Netherlands National Champions, who scored four-straight wins over Olympic-qualified teams from Puerto Rico, Switzerland, the United States and Austria this week. "Our goal was not for them to think they had a chance for another upset. Our domination in the first set was the difference."

For Benjamin and Marcio Araujo, the A1 "final four" is their fourth in eight starts this season as the pair has been hampered by injuries. Marcio Araujo missed the first three events due to an early March appendix operation. Benjamin has been playing through a jammed thumb on his left hand."

"This tournament was very important for us as we continue to get ready for Athens," Marcio Araujo noted as he and Benjamin are ranked No. 2 on the Olympic qualification list behind Brazilian rivals Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos. We played well, especially the powerful German team. Now, we seek another title here before going to the Olympics."

While Benjamin and Marcio Araujo had to beat only one Athens-bound team so far this week, Christoph Dieckmann and Scheuerpflug have played their last three matches against 2004 Olympic contenders from Argentina, Cuba and Australia.

However, the one Brazilian Olympic win was a "big" one as Benjamin and Marcio Araujo scored a 21-19 and 21-17 win Friday over fifth-seeded Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckerman of Germany. "That was a quality win since those Germans are tough to beat. Reckermann is a load at the net and very athletic."

The eighth men's A1 Grand Slam concludes with Sunday's gold medal match. The women's gold medal match will be played later Saturday when top-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede face third-seeded Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder for the title where the winning team shares the $40,500 first-place prize.