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

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Men's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Country Quota Matches Features Brazil's Best
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 21, 2004 - It was another "tough" morning of country quota matches for teams from Brazil here Tuesday in the US$360,000 Banco do Brasil Open as two of the three top-seeded tandems from the host country made it through preliminary matches.

Top-seeded Pará Ferreira/Pedro Cunha and second-seeded Fabio de Jesus Magalhães/Paulo Emilio Silva won their country quota matches, but third-seeded Luizão Correa/Pedro Grael Brazão were upset as Brazil hopes for another three spots in the Main Draw where four tandems from the South American country have already been placed.

Twelfth-seeded Bruno De Paula and Rodrigo Monteiro upset Luizão and Brazão 21-19 and 21-18 to earn a spot in the elimination bracket where they face seventh-seeded Jan Schnider and Tino Schuetz of Switzerland for a spot in the Main Draw.

Pará and Cunha, the gold medalists at June's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event in Puerto Rico, scored a 21-14 and 21-11 win over 18th-seeded Celso Brunholi and Joao Maciel to protect in No. 1-seeded in the qualifier's elimination bracket.

With the win, Pará and Cunha earned a spot in the Main Draw as only 15 of the 18 teams that were entered in the Qualification Tournament were left in the elimination bracket where seven more teams can advance to Thursday's opening "money" rounds in the mixed gender event presented by the Rio de Janeiro City Council.

"Today's country quota matches are just like playing on the Brazilian tour," said Pará, who captured the 1997 FIVB World Championship with Guilherme Marques in Los Angeles. "We have played in to many of this season where we have lost a chance because we had to play other Brazilian teams. For us Brazilians, the country quota matches are extremely tough."

Magalhães and Paulo Emilio advanced from the country quota round with a 21-11 and 21-12 win over 16th-seeded Fabiano Mello and Ricardo Brandao. Magalhães and Paulo Emilio will now play 18th-seeded Conrado Groth Couto and Raimund Wenning of Germany for a Main Draw berth.

Paulo Emilio, who has won five SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stops in his career, and Magalhães placed third earlier this season on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour in Mallorca. The pair is currently the top-ranked team on Brazil's domestic tour (Circuito Banco do Brasil) ahead of Olympic gold medallists Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos.

With six of 12 events completed on the Brazilian domestic tour, Magalhães and Paulo Emilio have won three of six stops to compile 1,680 points. Emanuel and Ricardo have captured two titles and 1,640 points. Franco Neto and Tande Ramos are No. 3 team on the Brazilian circuit with 1,600 points and one title.

In addition to Emanuel/Ricardo and Franco/Tande, other Brazilian teams already in this week's Main Draw are Benjamin Insfran/Marcio Araujo and Harley Marques/Fred Souza. Benjamin and Marcio, who placed ninth in the Olympics, are fourth on the Brazilian tour with 1,400 points and two seconds.

The mixed gender event started here Monday with the women's Qualification Tournament. Women's Main Draw play begins Wednesday. The women's medal matches will be played Saturday with the men's bronze and gold medal matches set for Sunday.