Men's competition, Stavanger
From 1 July To 4 July 2004

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Spaniards Post Men's Qualification Tournament Upset
STAVANGER, NORWAY, July 1, 2004 - Javier Luna and Raul Mesa of Spain made the "biggest" break-through here Thursday during the final round of the men's Qualification Tournament for the US$360,000 ConocoPhillips Open.

Seeded 20th in the 46-team qualifier, Luna and Mesa scored a 21-13 and 21-14 win over second-seeded Stephane Canet and Mathieu Hamel of France to earn a berth in Friday's opening Main Draw rounds. It marked the first-time the pair had earned a Main Draw spot this season after failing to qualifying in Portugal and Switzerland earlier this season.

Other countries winning final qualifying matches Thursday to advance to the Main Draw were Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia and the United States. Due to the withdrawal of a team from the Main Draw, one "lucky loser" spot was awarded to Canet and Hamel as the highest-seeded team losing Thursday.

Only four of the eight top-seeded teams in the qualifier advanced unbeaten to the Main Draw, including top-seeded Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger of the United States. Also advancing from the Qualification Tournament was fourth-seeded Luizão Correa/Harley Marques of Brazil, sixth-seeded Katsuhiro Shiratori/Satoshi Watanabe of Japan and seventh-seeded Rom Arkaev/Ditmitri Barsouk of Russia

Also winning qualifying match Thursday were ninth-seeded Max Backer/Emiel Boersma of the Netherlands, 11th-seeded Julius Brink/Kjell Schneider of Germany and 15th-seeded Ahren Cadieux/Richard Van Huizen of Canada.

Mesa, who won the 2002 Under-21 FIVB World champion, is attempting to follow in the foot-steps of his FIVB Under-21 championship partner Pablo Herrera and Brazil's Pedro Cunha. Herrera teamed with his new partner Javier Bosma to win May's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event in China. Cunha teamed with Pará Ferreira to capture June's stop in Puerto Rico.

Cunha, who dropped his country quota match Wednesday with Pará, won the 2001 and 2003 Under-21 titles. Mesa and Herrera were the Under-21 winners in 2002 when they upset Cunha and Adriano Fonseca in the finals.

The Main Draw for the ConocoPhillips Open starts Friday. The ninth stop on the men's 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the men's competition concludes Sunday when the final two teams compete for the $27,000 first-place prize.

Part of the Olympic Beach Volleyball process, the ConocoPhillips Open is the third of four-straight events in Europe before the July 11 deadline to determine the 24 men's teams for the 2004 Athens Games in August. The process concludes next week in Mallorca.