Lausanne, Switzerland, February 3, 2011 – For the eighth year in a row the Chinese city of Shanghai will welcome the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour as it hosts the second double-gender event of 2011 from May 2-8.
The Jinshan district of Shanghai will provide the venue, welcoming back men's and women's pairs from around the world as China hosts its second of four World Tour events of the year. Brazil's Harley Marques and Pedro Salgado secured the men's gold in Shanghai last year while USA's Jen Kessy and April Ross wrapped up the women's title.
Harley and Pedro had a tough three-set match against 2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball World champions Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann of Germany, eventually sealing a 21-15, 13-21, 17-15 win. Harley's former partner, Emanuel Rego, completed the podium with his new partner Alison Cerutti as they sealed bronze.
In the women's contest Kessy and Ross needed to dig deep to see off Brazil's Juliana Felisberta da Silva and Larissa França 2-1 (15-21, 21-16, 15-12) for the women's crown, coming back from a set down. Another Brazilian team completed the podium as Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes wrapped up the bronze.
The 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour has a total of 14 men's and 16 women's events across 13 countries. A definite highlight of the calendar will be the eighth edition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships from June 14-26 in Rome.
This 23rd edition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour also heralds the start of the World Tour Olympic qualifying process for 16 vacancies per gender, which runs from January 1 this year until June 17 next year. There will be six Grand Slams for the third year in a row offering 600,000 US dollars in prize money – in Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Austria as well as the new Grand Slam in Beijing, China. Quebec in Canada will also feature on the calendar for the first time with a double gender Open event.
The 1million US dollar FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships includes a number of firsts for the biennial tournament – including being played in a capital city and featuring night matches – with the historic Parco del Foro Italico in Rome providing the venue. Meanwhile, the Chinese capital Beijing is back on the Tour calendar for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games with a new Grand Slam event scheduled for June 6-12. Quebec will follow Montreal and Toronto as Canadian cities to host the World Tour, becoming the first since Montreal in 2007 when it stages a double-gender Open from July 18-24.
The 2011 schedule – which also includes an Olympic Games test event for women from August 9-14, replicating the Olympic formula, at London's Horse Guards Parade – will feature a total of 10 Opens of which six are double gender.