Men's competition, Marseille
From 14 July To 18 July 2004

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World Series 13 Qualifying Features Olympic-bound Teams
MARSEILLE, FRANCE, July 14, 2004 - Led by Nikolas Berger and Clemens Doppler of Austria, the Qualification Tournament rounds here Wednesday in the men's World Series 13 Beach Volleyball event featured four teams that have secured provisional berths in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Joining the second-seeded Austrians in advancing from the 27-team qualifier to the opening men's Main Draw rounds Thursday were other Olympic-bound teams of third-seeded Björn Berg and Simon Dahl of Sweden and fourth-seeded Raul Papaleo and Ramon Hernandez of Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rican win had an "Olympic" flavor as Papaleo and Hernandez scored a 21-14 and 21-17 win in 40 minutes over 15th-seeded Colin Pocock and Gershon Rorich of South Africa, who have qualified as their continent's Beach Volleyball entry for Athens Games.

Tenth-seeded Jorg Ahmann and Axel Hager, who captured the Beach Volleyball bronze medal for Germany at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, also advanced from the Qualification Tournament to the Main Draw.

Other qualifiers Wednesday were top-seeded Franco Neto and Tande Ramos of Brazil, eighth-seeded Julius Brink and Kjell Schneider of Germany, ninth-seeded Kjell Goranson and Tarjei Skarlund of Norway and 14th-seeded Javier Luna and Raul Mesa of Spain.

Missing from this week's Main Draw will be Ricardo Santos, who forms the No. 1 Olympic-qualified team with Emanuel Rego for Brazil. Santos sprained his right ankle in last week's Mallorca Open as he and Emanuel had to forfeit their last two matches to place ninth.

Emanuel will be playing this week with Pedro Grael Brazão while Ricardo, the silver medalists at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, has his ankle cared for in Portugal where the team bases its operation during the European swing on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.

Ricardo is scheduled to return to competition next week when the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour visits Poland for the first-time. The international tour completes its pre-Olympic schedule with the Poland stop for men along with another mixed gender event July 27-August 1 in Klagenfurt, Austria. The Athens Beach Volleyball competition is set for August 14-25.

The fifth of five-straight mixed gender events, the US$560,000 World Series 13 continues Thursday with the first 32 men's Main Draw matches. With 24 teams remaining in the women's event, 20 matches will be played in conjunction with the men Thursday. The finals for both genders will be Sunday when each gold medal team shares the $41,500 first-place prizes