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

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Six Countries Net SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Men's Main Draw Berths
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 21, 2004 - Eight teams from six countries advanced to the men's Main Draw here Tuesday in the US$360,000 Banco do Brasil Open, the final event on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour for both men and women.

Host Brazil now has seven Beach Volleyball teams in the 32-team men's Main Draw after qualifying three more tandems Tuesday. Earning Main Draw berths Tuesday for Brazil were top-seeded Pará Ferreira/Pedro Cunha, second-seeded Fabio de Jesus Magalhães/Paulo Emilio Silva and 12th-seeded Bruno De Paula and Rodrigo Monteiro.

All three Brazilian teams had to survive country quota matches before two of the tandems had to win elimination bracket matches as Pará and Cunha had a bye . De Paula and Rodrigo started their play Tuesday by upsetting third-seeded Luizão Correa and Pedro Grael Brazão in the country quota round before ousting seventh-seeded Jan Schnider and Tino Schuetz of Switzerland 21-16 and 21-15.

In addition to Olympic gold medallists Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, other Brazilian teams earning automatic Main Draw berths due to their SWATCH-FIVB World Tour rankings were Franco Neto/Tande Ramos and Benjamin Insfran/Marcio Araujo. Harley Marques and Fred Souza of Brazil were awarded a "wild card."

Other teams advancing to the Main Draw were fifth-seeded Jason Lochhead/Kirk Pitman of New Zealand, sixth-seeded Fabio Galli/Andrea Raffaelli of Italy, eighth-seeded Thanassis Michalopoulos/Emmanouil Xenakis of Greece ninth-seeded Marvin Polte/Thorsten Schoen and 17th-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Adam Roberts of the United States.

While the Germany and New Zealand teams have advanced from Qualification Tournaments to Main Draw this season, the Greeks, Italians and the Americans were earning their first berths in the "money" rounds. The Greeks and Americans are playing in their first FIVB events together, but Galli and Raffaelli had missed qualifying for five "open" tournaments by losing their final elimination matches each time.

With Ricardo capturing his second-straight Olympic medal after netting the silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Banco do Brasil Open also features four other Olympic medal playing winning players from the Athens 2004 Games.

Athens bronze medallists Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland are in the field along with Spaniards Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera, who are playing with different partners this week after losing to Emanuel and Ricardo in the Athens finale. Bosma will play with Juan Garcia Thompson this week while Herrera will compete with Raul Mesa on Copacabana.

Presented by the Rio de Janeiro City Council, 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.