Brasilia, Brazil, April 17, 2011 – Three men's team from the host country, Brazil, and one from Germany emerged on Monday from the country quota play-offs to advance to Tuesday's qualification tournament at the Brasilia Open.
Fernando Magalhaes/Bruno de Paula, Benjamin Insfran/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, and Franco Neto/Felipe Rodigues of Brazil along with Germany's Markus Bockermann/Mischa Urbatzka each won one match to progress to the next stage at the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour curtain-raiser.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011, the international beach volleyball circuit is starting with the US$380,000 Brasilia Open for the third consecutive season. The competition will continue through to Saturday on the Esplanada dos Ministerios in Quadrante 1. The tournament is the first of 12 double-gender events on the 2011 calendar with the men having two additional single-gender events and the women three along with a special 24-team Olympic test event in London from August 9-14.
The Brazilian capital has welcomed nearly 140 men's and women's teams from 35 countries. This event is the 258th men's and 218th women's competition in the history of the World Tour. The returning defending champions are Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States and Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca of Brazil, and all six medal-winning teams from 2010 have returned to Brazil this year.
Seven Brazilian teams competed for three host country advancement positions in the country quota play-offs. Brazil already have four other teams pre-seeded in the 32-team men’s main draw which begins on Wednesday.
With the host country allowed up to seven main-draw entries, Brazil's Benjamin/Schmidt defeated Evandro Goncalves/Rodrigo Monteiro while Magalhaes/de Paula beat Rhooney Ferramenta/Moises Santos, and Neto/Rodrigues prevailed against Joao Maciel/Fabio Luiz Magalhaes. Earlier Goncalves/Monteiro had defeated Oscar Brandao/Roberto Pitta in a first-round match before facing Benjamin/Schmidt, who had a first-round bye.
In their country quota play-off, Germany's Bockermann/Urbatzka defeated Thomas Kaczmarek/Alexander Walkenhorst to move into the qualification tournament. Germany has two men's tandems pre-seeded in the main draw. Foreign teams are allowed up to four teams and a possible wild card for five in FIVB main draw competition.
"Brazil against Brazil is always very hard, but we did our best today," said Benjamin, the 39-year-old 2004 Olympian who has 10 world tour gold medals. "Tomorrow, we need to do our homework in order to advance to the main draw. It will be necessary to have both our hearts and our brains working well."
The main draw rounds start on Tuesday for women and Wednesday for men. The medal matches will be held on Friday for women and Saturday for men.