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

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"Perfect" SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Participation
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 26, 2004 - For teams from Argentina, Bulgaria and Puerto Rico, the tradition-rich A1 Grand Slam, presented by Nokia, means "perfect" Beach Volleyball participation so for this season on the men's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.

When the US$540,000 A1Grand Slam Qualification Tournament starts Wednesday, Ramon Hernandez and Raul Papaleo of Puerto Rico and Bulgaria's Milen Stoyanov and Boris Yankov will be the first two tandems to participate in all 13 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "open" events for men this season.

Argentina's Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde will join the Puerto Ricans and Bulgarians the next day with "perfect" participation when the men's Main Draw starts in the last SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics Games.

The A1 Grand Slam is also the sixth of seven mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour this season as the women's qualifier also starts Wednesday with their medal matches set for Saturday while the men conclude competition Sunday. The gold medal team from each gender will split the $40,500 first-place prize.

Both the Puerto Ricans and the Argentineans have used their participation to secure spots in the 2004 Olympic Games. The qualification of Hernandez and Papaleo gives the island country their first-ever participates in either indoor and beach Volleyball.

Conde has now qualified for the Olympics three-teams as he participated in the previous two Beach Volleyball competitions in Atlanta and Sydney with Esteban Martinez. Baracetti played with Jose Salema in Sydney.

Baracetti and Conde also return to the city on Lake Wörthersee where they posted their greatest successes together on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The Argentineans captured the 2001 FIVB World Championships to interrupt a string of Klagenfurt gold medal finishes by Brazilians.

Brazilians have won six of the previous seven Lake Wörthersee events, including the first four before Baracetti and Conde ended the streak by defeating Ze Marco de Melo and Ricardo Santos for the 2001 FIVB World Championship gold medal.

Emanuel Rego, the winningest player on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour with 46 titles to his credit, was a part of the first four A1 Grand Slams gold medal teams. Emanuel captured the inaugural title in 1997 with Ze Marco before winning the next three with Jose Loiola,

Loiola teamed with Ricardo to win the 2002 Lake Wörthersee title. Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo maintained Brazil's top spot on the podium by winning last year A1 Grand Slam gold medal by defeating Stein Metzger and Kevin Wong of the United States in the finals.

The event was the last one in American partnership as Metzger teamed with Dax Holdren when Wong ended the association to play with Eric Fonoimoana, the Beach Volleyball gold medallists at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with Dain Blanton. The switch benefited Metzger and he and Holdren qualified as the United States' No. 2 men's team for Athens behind Blanton and Jeff Nygaard.