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

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Unique Setting Continues on SWATCH Beach Volleyball Tour
STARE JABLONKI, POLAND, July 22, 2004 - As the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour continues its trek through Europe, this week's inaugural US$180,000 Mazury Open, presented by the Hotel Anders, continues to offer another unique setting for Beach Volleyball.

Being played between two SWATCH-FIVB World Tour mixed gender Grand Slam events in France and Austria, the men's Mazury Open is being staged at a recreational centre on the scenic grounds of the Hotel Anders amidst beautiful lakes and woods.

"It is nice to be playing at a resort like this and away from the big city," said Franco Neto of Brazil. "We usually find ourselves in areas with a lot of noise, lights and traffic. Although we will still be competing, my family and I will find time to relax."

A regular on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour since 1990 with 15 gold medals to his credit along with more than $640,000 in earnings, Franco is enjoying his Hotel Anders stay with his wife (Suelem) and five-year old son (Bruno).

"The pace has been very hectic and pressure-packed for most of the players, especially for those competing for spots in the Olympics," said Franco, who is playing with Tande Ramos this season as Brazil's No. 3 team. "This tournament provides the most-relaxed setting of the season and will help us prepare for another Grand Slam event next week in Austria."

The SWATCH-FIVB World Tour has not had a week off since mid-May as the Mazury Open marks the 10th-straight week of competition this season for the men. After opening the season in March with back-to-back events in Brazil and South Africa, the SWATCH circuit resumed May 19 with stops in China, Serbia, and Montenegro, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Mallorca and France.

Next week's A1 Grand Slam in Klagenfurt will feature both men's and women's competition as the $540,000 event will be the final SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop prior to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Presented by Nokia, the A1Grand Slam offers another unique setting for Beach Volleyball players and fans.

"Unlike sports like soccer, we play our matches at a different looking site each week with unique surroundings," Franco noted. "No two sites are ever the same. The beauty of our sports is that the fans are right on top of the action. They can enjoy the sights and sounds of Beach Volleyball up close and personal. You can not get that close to action in a 40,000-seat soccer stadium."

The Mazury Open Main Draw starts with 40 matches Friday on the lakefront below the Hotel Anders. Saturday's 18 matches will determine the "final four" teams for Sunday where the winning tandem shares $27,000 for their gold medal finish in the 13th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event this season.