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

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Olympic Champions Work Overtime for SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Semi-final Spot
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 24, 2004 - With teams from Germany and Switzerland taking a direct route to the semi-finals of the $360,000 Banco do Brasil Open, Olympic champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil had to "work overtime" here Friday to gain a spot in the "final four" of the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Beach Volleyball event.

The teams of fifth-seeded Markus Dieckmann/Jonas Reckermann of Germany and third-seeded Patrick Heuscher/Stefan Kobel of Switzerland each won two matches Friday to gain "final four" berths with 4-0 marks as both European teams beat tandems from host Brazil to advance.

Earning the final spot in the Banco do Brasil Open men's "final four" was Switzerland's Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger, who will play Swiss rivals Heuscher and Kobel in Saturday's second semi-final. The Germans face a challenge from Emanuel and Ricardo in the first semi-final match Saturday on the Copacabana Beach sand.

Seeded first in the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season finale, Emanuel and Ricardo had to play two extra matches Friday after dropping their first meeting of the day to ninth-seeded Fabio Magalhães and Paulo Emilio Silva (21-18, 16-21 and 15-12) in an All-Brazilian affair.

The Athens 2004 Olympic gold medallists, Emanuel and Ricardo rebounded through the elimination bracket to win three-straight matches over a team from Argentina and two Brazil rivals. Their final win was a 21-19 and 25-23 win in 49 minutes over seventh-seeded Harley Marques and Fred Souza of Brazil.

Heyer and Egger, who dropped their first match Friday morning to Heuscher and Kobel, earned a "final four" spit with a 21-16 and 21-18 win in 39 minutes over Magalhães and Paulo Emilio. Heuscher and Kobel have won six-straight matches over Heyer and Egger since 2002 on the international tour, including four this season.

After opening play Friday with a 24-22 and 21-19 win over fourth-seeded Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran, Dieckmann and Reckermann posted a 21-19 and 21-17 win in 46 minutes over Magalhães and Paulo Emilio to advance to the semi-finals.

The bronze medallists at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Heuscher and Kobel scored an 18-21, 21-19 and 15-10 win over Harley and Fred to earn a "final four" berth. Combined with their earlier 24-22 and 21-18 win over Heyer and Egger, Heuscher and Kobel join Dieckmann and Reckermann in advancing to a Brazilian semi-final for the second-time this season after earning semi-final berths in March's season opener for men in Salvador.

A mixed gender stop, the Banco do Brasil Open is the final event on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The women's final Saturday is an All-Brazilian affair where top-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede play third-seeded Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires for the gold medal. The men's medal matches are Sunday on Copacabana Beach.