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

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Four Seed-Breakthroughs Highlight Men's Opening Round
STAVANGER, NORWAY, July 2, 2004 - Beach Volleyball tandems from Brazil, France, Germany and the United States scored wins over higher-seeded teams here Friday during the opening round of the men's US$360,000 ConocoPhillips Open.

Three of the four upsets were posted by teams that had to play in the 46-team Qualification Tournament Wednesday and Thursday. Also winning their opening matches Friday were the top-six seeded teams, including the defending ConocoPhillips Open champions, Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil.

Posting seed-breakthroughs Friday were the qualifying teams of 17th-seeded Luizão Correa/Harley Marques of Brazil, 22nd-seeded Dax Holdren/Stein Metzger of the United States and 23rd-seeded Stephane Canet/Mathieu Hamel of France. Also posting an upset early Friday was 26th-seeded Niklas Rademacher/David Klemperer of Germany.

"We have not played well the past two weeks," said Stein Metzger. "I don't know if winning three qualifying matches helped our confidence, but the first win today is certainly better than our starts in the last two events."

Holdren and Metzger, who placed fourth in Puerto Rico three weeks ago, had lost six-straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour matches before snapping the streak in the qualifier by eliminating teams from the United States, Norway and Sweden.

The Americans scored a 22-20 and 21-19 win over 11th-seeded Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera of Spain in their first match Friday. The Spaniards had won a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop in China earlier this season by defeating Emanuel and Ricardo in the finals.

Emanuel has been part of the winning team in the ConocoPhillips Open four to the five last years, including a 2003 gold medal with Ricardo when they defeated Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina in the finals.

Brazil has won all five ConcooPhillips Open titles, including a 2000 win by Ze Marco de Melo and Ricardo, the silver medalists at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Emanuel and Jose Loiola won the inaugural crown in 1999 before placing third in 2000. Tande Ramos teamed with Emanuel to capture the Vaagen Harbour gold medal in 2001 and 2003.

Of the 15 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour medals awarded in Stavanger, Brazil has collected 11. Argentina, Australia and Switzerland (two) have collected the other four. The only non-South American final was in 2001 when the Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) won the silver medal.

With the women's medal matches set for Saturday in the third of five-straight mixed gender events on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the men's competition concludes Sunday when the final two teams compete for the $27,000 first-place prize.