Brasília, Brazil, April 20, 2011 - Paced by three teams from the host country and two from the United States, eight beach volleyball tandems from five nations posted unbeaten records in Brasilia on Wednesday during the opening men’s Main Draw rounds as the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour continues at the Brasília Open in the capital of Brazil.
The other undefeated teams after the Wednesday’s action are teams from China, Germany and Spain.
The US$380,000 Brasília Open features both men’s and women’s competition in Brazil’s capital. Nearly 140 teams from 35 countries are part of the season-opening event of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour which begins in the South American city for the third straight season. The women’s medal matches will be played on Friday followed by the men’s medal matches on Saturday. The winning teams in each gender will share $30,000 first-place prizes.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011, the international beach volleyball circuit is starting with the US$380,000 Brasília Open for the third consecutive season. Competition will continue through Saturday on The Esplanada dos Ministérios in Quadrante 1.
Brasilia has welcomed nearly 140 men and women’s teams from 35 countries. This event is the 258th men’s and 218th women’s competition in the history of the FIVB Swatch World Tour.
Undefeated with two victories each on Wednesday heading into the Thursday’s second day of Main Draw competition from Brazil are third-seeded Ricardo Santos/Marcio Araujo, fifth-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego and 11th-seeded Benjamin Insfran/Bruno Oscar Schmidt.
From the United States, the two undefeated teams Wednesday were top-seeded defending champions Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers and fourth-seeded Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena.
The other unbeaten teams so far in the double-elimination 32-team Main Draw are China’s 10th-seeded Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu, Germany’s second-seeded Julius Brink/Jonas Reckerman and Spain’s ninth-seeded Adrian Gavira Collado/Pablo Herrera.
USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers, who have now won 25 consecutive FIVB Swatch World Tour matches, started the day with a 21-15, 21-12 win in 33 minutes over Chile’s 32nd-seeded Esteban and Marco Grimalt. The reigning Olympic and FIVB Swatch World Tour champions completed their day by defeating Georgia’s Renato “Geor” Gomes/Jorge “Gia” Terceiro 21-11, 18-21 and 18-16 in a 58-minute match.
Rogers commented following his team’s matches, “We know that last year we had a great performance and we hope 2011 is as good, but we also know that all the teams have improved and come on hard, especially all the Brazilians. Today, the two matches were very hard. This is the start of the season, the first event and we need to get in shape, improve and correct things. We haven’t play a competitive match since last August in Finland.”
Brazil’s Alison/Rego who won the silver medal in this event last year, recorded victories over Italy’s 28th-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, 21-13, 21-19 in 35 minutes and Germany’s 21st-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, 21-11, 21-16 in 37 minutes.
“Today was a high point for us,” said Emanuel, who has earned over US$2,000,000 in his FIVB career. “Our preparation is focused specifically for the FIVB Swatch World Tour. In today’s matches we had ups and downs, but we did not let them continue in a match. While last year we were a new team which made it harder, this year we are stronger and more mature.
Sixteen teams remain in the competition with one defeat each. Thursday’s schedule features 22 men’s matches along with the last two rounds of women’s elimination play followed by the women’s semifinals.
Brazil has staged a FIVB Swatch World Tour event every year since the start of the international series for men in 1987 and women in 1992. This is the 33rd men’s event and 28th women’s tournament on the FIVB Swatch World Tour held in Brazil. This is also the 13th time Brazil has been the site of a season-opening event on the international circuit.
With the Brazilian capital celebrating its 51st anniversary this week, crowds exceeding one million are expected to attend various holiday activities on the Esplanada dos Ministérios in Brasília, especially during tomorrow’s anniversary celebrations which feature the FIVB Swatch World Tour event.