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

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Brazilian & European Teams Post Unbeaten SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Marks
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 23, 2004 - Like the women's competition from Wednesday, Brazilians and Europeans dominated the winner's bracket competition here Thursday in the men's Main Draw at the US$360,000 Banco do Brasil Open.

Host Brazil had five teams post 2-0 match marks Thursday led by Olympic champions and top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, who posted opening wins over teams from the United States and Puerto Rico. Overall, the Brazilian men were 13-3 Thursday with six teams still in the competition with a tandem in the contender's bracket with a 2-1 match mark.

Other undefeated Brazilian teams from Thursday's action are second-seeded Franco Neto/Tande Ramos, fourth-seeded Marcio Araujo/Benjamin Insfran, seventh-seeded Harley Marques/Fred Souza and ninth-seeded Fabio Magalhães/Paulo Emilio Silva, a qualifier for the Main Draw. Still in contention for Brazil and playing an elimination match Friday morning is 31st-seeded Rodrigo Monteiro/Bruno De Paula.

European tandems of third-seeded Patrick Heuscher/Stefan Kobel of Switzerland, fifth-seeded Markus Dieckmann/Jonas Reckermann of Germany and sixth-seeded Sascha Heyer/Markus Egger of Switzerland were also unbeaten Thursday in the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season finale.

Two of the four opening matches in Friday's third-round of the winner's bracket will be all-Brazilian confrontations as the two Swiss teams will meet in a third while the host country faces Germany in a fourth.

Emanuel and Ricardo, who have won seven international events this season, face Magalhães and Paulo Emilio with the winners playing either Marcio Araujo/Benjamin or Dieckmann/Reckermann for a spot in Saturday's semi-finals. Harley and Fred, a "wild card" entrant in the competition, plays Franco and Tande with the victors challenging the Swiss winner for another semi-final berth.

"Not necessarily an easy day on the sand," said Emanuel. "The windy conditions probably caused problems for all the teams. I am glad we got through safely as we faced some very tough matches against the Americans and Puerto Ricans. The competition will be just as tough Friday."

For Magalhães and Paulo Emilio, the Friday morning meeting with the Athens Olympic gold medallists will be a rematch of a domestic match two weeks ago in Brasilia where they defeated Emanuel and Ricardo enroute to their third Circuito Banco do Brasil title this season. Emanuel and Ricardo have won two of the six domestic tour stops this year with Franco and Tande claiming the other championship.

"I know that Emanuel and Ricardo will be anxious for some revenge against us," said Paulo Emilio, who has won five SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medals with the last being in 1997 in Turkey. "We beat them in the quarter-finals of the winner's bracket and they finished fifth in their first event since the Olympics. It will be an emotional match for both teams."