Men's Brazil Open 2004
Salvador, March 16 - 21

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No. 3 & Trying Harder
Coming from a land-locked country makes you try a "little harder."

Not only does Switzerland have three of the top 10 teams in world, the European nation that is surrounded by Germany, Austria, Italy and France will qualify two teams for the beach volleyball competition at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

"And it could be three teams in the Olympics if it was allowed," said Sascha Heyer, who forms Switzerland's No. 3 team with Markus Egger. At the end of the 2003 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) were ranked third internationally behind two teams from Brazil and ahead of Swiss rivals Stefan Kobel and Patrick Heuscher. Heyer and Egger were ranked 10th.

"I think people are surprised to learn that Switzerland has three top-ranked beach volleyball teams in the world," said Heyer. "And don't forget about a fifth-place finish last week in the Swiss team in the FIVB women's opener in Fortaleza. "We are proud that we have been able to make a name for Swiss volleyball players internationally. Our country has not been that competitive indoors, but we have gained a lot of respect on the beach."

Heyer and Egger finished the 2003 season in style by winning the bronze medal at the European championships last August in Turkey before placing second at a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event in Southern California where they lost to top-ranked Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil in the Gold Medal match.

"I think we impressed the American crowd after we beat legendary Mike Whitmarsh and his partner Canyon Ceman in the semi-finals on their home soil in Los Angeles, said Heyer. "We have been playing as long as the Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) on the beach, Heyer added. "The Lacigas made a decision early to play full-time on beach in the mid-1990s while we have devoted ourselves to the beach game the last three years."

Their decision to devote themselves to the beach game has paid off as Heyer and Egger as they are pushing the Lacigas and Kobel and Heuscher for a spot in the Olympics. "Unfortunately for our country, only two Swiss teams can get to the Olympics," said Paul Laciga.
Press releases
Date Press release
21-Mar-2004 Emanuel & Ricardo Stop Swiss Tandem for Brazilian Open Gold
21-Mar-2004 Emanuel y Ricardo detiene a dupla suiza en la lucha del oro en Abierto Brasileño
21-Mar-2004 La médaille d'Or de l'Open du Brésil aux brésiliens Emanuel et Ricardo qui battent le tandem suisse
21-Mar-2004 Dieckmann's Injury Hands Bronze Medal to Argentina
21-Mar-2004 Lesión de Dieckmann le da la medalla de bronce a Argentina
20-Mar-2004 Brazil's Emanuel & Ricardo Earn Gold Medal Berth Versus Swiss Duo
20-Mar-2004 Brasileños Emanuel y Ricardo van por el oro ante dupla suiza
20-Mar-2004 Les brésiliens Emanuel et Ricardo disputeront la médaille d'Or à la paire suisse
20-Mar-2004 Dieckmann's Injury Nets Swiss Beach Volleyball Gold Medal Berth
20-Mar-2004 Lesión de Dieckmann le da a los suizos opción a la medalla de oro
19-Mar-2004 Four Elimination Bracket Wins Friday Net Argentinean Advancement
19-Mar-2004 Argentinos clasifican tras cuatro triunfos en eliminatorias
19-Mar-2004 Quatre victoires consécutives propulsent les Argentins en demi-finale
19-Mar-2004 Top-seeded Brazilians Roar Back Against Germans Enroute to Semis
19-Mar-2004 Brasileños mejor sembrados superan a alemanes y ya están en semifinales
18-Mar-2004 Estonia Team Eliminates Top-Rated Swiss Tandem
18-Mar-2004 Equipo de Estonia elimina a la mejor dupla suiza
18-Mar-2004 Les Estoniens éliminent les vedettes Suisses
18-Mar-2004 Australian & Cuban Teams Challenge Top-seeded Brazilians
18-Mar-2004 Equipos australianos y cubanos desafían a los brasileños número uno
18-Mar-2004 Australiens et Cubains défient les têtes de série Brésilienes
18-Mar-2004 No. 3 & Trying Harder
18-Mar-2004 Not Just in Southern California or Brazil!
17-Mar-2004 Brazilian Open Qualifier Features Upsets
17-Mar-2004 Clasificatorio del Abierto de Brasil arroja derrotas
17-Mar-2004 Tournure étonnante des qualifications au Brésil
16-Mar-2004 Canadian Switch Nets Beach Volleyball Results
16-Mar-2004 Buenos resultados canadienses en el Voleibol de Playa
16-Mar-2004 Bons résultats canadiens en Beachvolley
16-Mar-2004 Brazil, Norway & USA Teams Advance From Salvador Country Quota Playoffs
16-Mar-2004 Brésil, Norvège et Etats-Unis se mettent en avant dans les barrages à Salvador
16-Mar-2004 Equipos de Brasil, Noruega y EE UU avanzan en Salvador en el Playoff de cuota por países
15-Mar-2004 Salvador Beach Volleyball Event Opens Men's Season
15-Mar-2004 Torneo de Voleibol de Playa en Salvador abre la temporada masculina
15-Mar-2004 Ouverture à Salvador du Beach Volleyball masculin

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