Men's competition, Rio de Janeiro
From 21 September To 26 September 2004

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Swiss Champions Join German Rivals in SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Semi-final
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 24, 2004 - An "exhausted" Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland joined their German rivals Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann by winning a pair of matches here Friday to advance to the "final four" of a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour in Brazil for the second-time this season.

The bronze medallists at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the third-seeded Heuscher and Kobel scored an 18-21, 21-19 and 15-10 win in 62 minutes over seventh-seeded Harley Marques and Fred Souza of Brazil in the $360,000 Banco do Brasil Open.

Combined with their earlier 24-22 and 21-18 win over sixth-seeded Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger of Switzerland, Heuscher and Kobel join Dieckmann and Reckermann in the semi-finals as both teams matched their efforts from the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season opener in March for men in Salvador.

"I don't know how we are doing it," said Heuscher after the match. "I am glad we don't have to play another match today. My arms are okay, but my mind and legs are tired. We are very fortunate that we have good ball control. If you don't make a lot of mistakes, you can overcome an exhausted feeling with a good side out game."

When asked about his team's success in Brazil this season, Heuscher credited the Swiss' spring training in Brazil. "We are use to the way of life down here. We have adapted well to the food, the lodging, the transportation and the weather. We have had very good experiences and like playing Beach Volleyball here."

After opening play Friday with a 24-22 and 21-19 win in 52 minutes over fourth-seeded Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran, Dieckmann and Reckermann posted a 21-19 and 21-17 win in 46 minutes over ninth-seeded Fabio Magalhães and Paulo Emilio Silva to advance to the semi-finals for the second-time this season in Brazil.

While Dieckmann and Reckermann will play a team from Brazil in their semi-final Saturday morning (Olympic Champions Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, Marcio Araujo/Benjamin or Harley/Fred), the Swiss await the winner of the matches between Magalhães/Paulo Emilio, Heyer/Egger and Russia's 12th-seeded Roman Arkaev/Dmitri Barsouk.

Emanuel and Ricardo were upset earlier Friday by Magalhães and Paulo Emilio and were playing Marcio Araujo and Benjamin with the winner facing Harley and Fred for a spot in the "final four" Magalhães and Paulo Emilio will play the winner of the Swiss-Russian match for a berth in the semi-finals.

A mixed gender stop, the Banco do Brasil Open is the final event on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The women's semi-finals will be played Friday afternoon with four Brazilian teams in the "final four." The women's finals are Saturday followed by the men's medal matches Sunday on Copacabana Beach.