Men's competition, Stare Jablonki
From 21 July To 25 July 2004

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Emanuel & Ricardo Advance Through Elimination Bracket for Semi-final Berth
STARE JABLONKI, POLAND, July 24, 2004 - Second-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos advanced to another Beach Volleyball "final four" here Saturday in the US$180,000 Mazury Open, but the Brazilians had to win five elimination matches for the first-time this season.

With four of the elimination wins Saturday, Emanuel and Ricardo face 21st-seeded Jorre Kjemperud and Vegard Hoidalen of Norway in Sunday's first semi-final in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event on the sand courts below the Hotel Anders. Playing in their 22nd international event together, Emanuel and Ricardo have earned 17 "final four" berths with nine gold medals.

The second semi-final will have seventh-seeded Franco Neto and Tande Ramos challenging top-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland. Both the Norwegians and Franco/Tande had an easier route to the "final four" by each winning all four of their matches this week.

Emanuel and Ricardo advanced to the semi-finals with wins over teams from Switzerland, Brazil, Germany before scoring a 21-19 and 25-23 win over third-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo in the third All-Brazilian match this weekend. In an earlier match, Franco and Tande defeated Benjamin and Marcio Araujo 15-21, 21-13 and 15-12 to advance to Sunday's play.

Ricardo is returning to action this week after spraining his right ankle two weeks ago in Mallorca. He will be playing his eighth and ninth matches of the competition Sunday. "He is a little sore," said Emanuel, "but he came through in final style this week."

Heuscher and Kobel rebounded from their 21-17, 19-21 and 15-8 setback to Kjemperud and Hoidalen to advance to their second-straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" by scoring a 21-16 and 21-11 win over the fifth-seeded Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) in an All-Swiss match. The win was only the second for Heuscher and Kobel over the Lacigas in seven meetings since 2002.

Kjemperud and Hoidalen will be playing Emanuel and Ricardo for the third-time as the Brazilians posted gold medal match wins for the Norwegians the past two years in Portugal, including a 21-12 and 22-20 win last month in Espinho. Heuscher and Kobel will also be facing Franco and Tande for the third-time with both previous matches this season in Brazil and Serbia Montenegro with the Swiss victorious both times.

Sunday's semi-final winners will compete for a share of the $27,000 first-place prize while the losers split $18,000 as the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour concludes its 12th men's events this season. Three of the four teams in Sunday's "final four" have captured gold medals this season.

Emanuel and Ricardo have won four times in Brazil, Serbia and Montenegro, Portugal and Norway. Franco and Tande upset Emanuel and Ricardo in the South African final. Heuscher and Kobel captured their first-ever SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "open" title last month in the Swiss Alps.