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

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Germany Vs. Switzerland in Brazilian All-European Final
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 25, 2004 - For the first-time on another continent, two European teams will play for a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal as third-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland meet fifth-seeded Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany as both teams won semi-final matches here Saturday in the $360,000 Banco do Brasil Open.

The fourth All-European finale of the 2004 season and the fifth all-time since 1987 on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour was set up when Dieckmann and Reckermann posted a 15-21, 21-17 and 15-13 in 52 minutes over top-seeded and Olympic champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil. It was the German's first win in seven matches against Emanuel and Ricardo.

Heuscher and Kobel, the bronze medallists from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games where they lost in the semi-finals to Emanuel and Ricardo, advanced to Sunday's gold medal match with a 21-18 and 21-16 win over sixth-seeded Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger in an All-Swiss semi-final.

"One more match and it is over," said Heuscher after the 38-minute win as they defeated their Swiss rivals for the seventh-straight time since 2002. "I just want to get the season over. As compared to the other semi-final, we had a pretty easy match. However, tomorrow's meeting will be extremely tough."

After having only one All-European final between 1987-2003 (1994 in France) on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the 2004 season has now produced four (at the Switzerland, Germany and Mallorca stops). Heuscher and Kobel defeated the Germans in the June's Gstaad, Switzerland stop after losing earlier in that event to Dieckmann and Reckermann in the winner's bracket.

"I don't know how exciting it will be for the Brazilian fans to have two European teams playing for a title on Copacabana," said one member of the media covering the mixed gender Banco do Brasil Open. "However, it is a great feat for their continent to finally win a gold medal in Brazil."

The Banco do Brasil Open marks the 26th men's stop on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour in Brazil with the South American country winning the last 11 Brazilian events and 17 overall. The United States had won the first seven Brazil events and eight overall.

Sunday's final will also mark Heuscher and Kobel's second-straight Brazilian final as the Swiss pair dropped March's gold medal match in Salvador where they lost to Emanuel and Ricardo in the title match. Dieckmann and Reckermann also advanced to the Salvador semi-finals, but forfeited both "final four matches due to Dieckmann's abdominal strain.

A mixed gender stop, the Banco do Brasil Open's 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.