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

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SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Returns "Home"
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, September 17, 2004 - The SWATCH-FIVB World Tour returns home to where it all started in 1987 as Brazil hosts its 26th international men's Beach Volleyball event here next week as the 2004 season comes to a close.

In fact, Rio de Janeiro was the site of the first three FIVB-sanctioned Beach Volleyball events for men before Jesi, Italy broke the string by hosting an event in July 1989. Overall, Rio de Janeiro has hosted more SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events (13) than any other site, including 12-straight events from 1987 through 1998.

The US$360,000 Brazilian Open is a mixed gender event with the women's competition beginning Monday with the first of two days of the Qualification Tournament. The men's qualifier begins Tuesday. The competition closes September 25 for women and September 26 for men.

After not hosting an event for four years, Copacabana Beach will stage the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season finale for the second-straight season. The world's best Beach Volleyball players concluded the 2003 campaign on Copacabana Beach at the FIVB World Championships where Brazil's Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos captured the title.

Emanuel and Ricardo enter the 2004 season finale as both the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season points championship for the second-straight year along with playing in their first international event since winning the gold medal at the Athens Olympic Games where they defeated Spain's Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera in the finals.

The Olympic champions will be seeking their eighth gold medal finish this season. Prior to winning the crown in Athens, Emanuel and Ricardo captured SWATCH-FIVB World Tour titles in Brazil (Salvador), Serbia and Montenegro, Portugal, Norway, Poland and Austria.

Since forming their partnership for the final two events of the 2002 season, Emanuel and Ricardo have won 12 gold medals internationally (fourth all-time) in 24 starts together with $510,380 in earnings (13th all-time). The Brazilians have been on the podium together 18 times with only five "non-final four" finishes.

Bosma and Herrera will be competing next week on Copacabana Beach, but not together as the Spaniards split after the Athens Games to play in an European event in Valencia, Spain (September 9-12). Bosma will play with Juan Garcia Thompson in Rio after the pair finished fifth in Valencia with a 3-1 record.

Herrera will play with Raul Mesa on Copacabana as the pair won the FIVB-s 2003 U-21 championship together. In their first event together after the Olympics in Valencia, Herrera and Mesa placed 13th after winning only one of three pool play matches in the event won by Christoph Dieckmann and Andreas Scheuerpflug, who placed fifth in Athens.

Brazil will also have two other gold medal winning teams from the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour in the Main Draw field in Rio, including Franco Neto/Tande Ramos (at Cape Town, South Africa) and Benjamin Insfran/Marcio Araujo (at Marseille, France).