Men's competition, Mallorca
From 7 July To 11 July 2004

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Swiss Brothers Join Argentineans in Mallorca "Final Four"
SANTA PONSA, MALLORCA, July 10, 2004 - Veteran SWATCH-FIVB World Tour teams from Argentina and Switzerland earned the first two spots in the "final four" of the men's Mallorca Open here Saturday afternoon by each winning two matches in the US$360,000 Beach Volleyball event.

The third-seeded Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) of Switzerland joined fourth-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina as semi-finalists in the 10th men's stop on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour this season.

The Swiss brothers scored a 24-22, 13-21 and 15-12 win in 56 minutes over 26th-seeded Iver Horrem and Bjorn Maaseide of Norway to gain their second "open final four" this season. The Argentineans posted a 21-17 and 21-19 win over 24th-seeded Fabio Magalhaes and Paulo Emilio Silva of Brazil to gain their fourth semi-final berth in 2004.

Both teams have played in SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal matches this season with the Lacigas losing two weeks ago in Berlin to Germany's Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann. Baracetti and Conde, who won the bronze medal in Brazil and Germany this year, dropped the Puerto Rico final to Pedro Cunha and Pará Ferreira of Brazil.

The Brazilian and Norwegian losers still have a chance for Sunday's "final four" as they face elimination bracket matches later Saturday. Horrem and Maaseide will face fifth-seeded Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger of Switzerland with the winner playing Baracetti and Conde.

Magalhaes and Paulo Emilio will play the victors of the match between the second-seeded Dieckmann and Reckerman and seventh-seeded Fred Souza and Harley Marques of Brazil. The winner of that match plays the Swiss brothers Sunday morning in the second of two semi-finals.

"It was good to take a week off," said Martin Laciga before the start of the Mallorca Open as the brothers missed last week's stop in Norway where Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil won the title. Due to Ricardo's sprained right ankle, the Brazilians forfeited both of their matches Saturday to place ninth this week.

"We are disappointed that we can not continue," said Emanuel, "but Ricardo could not function effectively against the challenges of today. It is better to rest his ankle and see if he can play next week in Marseille (France). Our goal is the Olympics and to be ready both mentally and physically."

The fourth of five-straight mixed gender events, the men's Mallorca Open Main Draw concludes Sunday when the winning team shares the $27,000 first-place prize. The women's competition ends Saturday afternoon where top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil play second-seeded Suzanne Lahme and Danja Musch of Germany for the gold medal.