Paris, France, June 20, 2008 - With eight teams watching after winning their pools here Friday to receive "byes" into the second round of the US$600,000 Henkel Grand Chelem elimination bracket, Beach Volleyball pairs from six countries won afternoon matches to advance to Saturday's SWATCH FIVB World Tour competition.
With five of the top eight-seeded teams winning their groups to lead the field into Saturday's schedule to be played on the sand courts at the Champs de Mars within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower, the other three top-rated tandems won matches in the first elimination round.
Fifth-seeded Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu of China, sixth-seeded David Klemperer/Eric Koreng of Germany and eighth-seeded Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal of the United States rebounded from pool setbacks to advance to Saturday's slate that will feature semi-final action for both men and women.
The fourth annual Henkel Grand Chelem will conclude with the medal matches for both genders Sunday afternoon where reigning Olympic champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos will be seeking to defend their 2007 Champs de Mars title. Each gold-medal team will share the $43,500 first-place prizes for the second of six SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slam events in 2008.
The featured opening men's match Saturday will have the top-seeded Emanuel and Ricardo facing Wu and Xu after the Chinese ousted 23rd-seeded Jorre Kjemperud and Tarjei Skarlund of Norway 21-14, 17-21 and 15-12 in 47 minutes Friday afternoon. Emanuel and Ricardo have won the last two SWATCH FIVB World Tour events in Poland and Berlin while the Chinese pair has placed second three times in 2008.
Other matches in the bottom half of the men's Henkel Grand Chelem elimination bracket has Gibb and Rosenthal playing seventh-seeded Harley Marques and Pedro Salgado of Brazil while 14th-seeded Igor Kolodinsky and Dmitri Barsouk of Russia play 22nd-seeded Sascha Heyer and Patrick Heuscher of Switzerland and third-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States facing 16th-seeded Mischa Urbatzka and Jonas Reckermann of Germany.
Second-seeded Julius Brink and Christoph Dieckmann of Germany, who assumed the top seed in the elimination bracket by winning their pool and posting a better set ratio than Emanuel and Ricardo, will play Klemperer and Koreng in an opening match Saturday. The two teams have met twice on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour with both matches last season Berlin with a split result.
The other matches in the top half of the bracket has 18th-seeded Stein Metzger and Mark Williams of the United States playing 24th-seeded Renato "Geor" Gomes/Jorge "Gia" Terceiro of Georgia, 31st-seeded Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs of Latvia challenging 12th-seeded Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings of the United States, and fourth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil of the Netherlands meeting 25th-seeded Clemens Doppler and Peter Gartmayer of Austria.
Led by Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, four teams from the United States advanced to the Henkel Grand Chelem women's quarter-finals. May-Treanor and Walsh are seeking their fourth Paris medal after capturing the titles in 2005 and 2007 and placing second in 2006.