Lausanne, Switzerland, June 26, 2011—After a week break from tournament play, the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour resumes Monday in Norway with this week’s $600,000 FIVB Swatch ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger 2011 scheduled for picturesque Vaagen Harbour. The world’s top beach volleyball tandems return to Norway as the double-gender event marks the 13th consecutive visit by the world tour with Stavanger hosting its first men’s event in 1999 and its first women’s event in 2002.
The third of seven “major” tournaments on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour schedule, the FIVB Swatch ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger 2011 begins with women’s country quota matches on Monday, single elimination qualification tournament on Tuesday to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team main draw on Wednesday through Friday. The women’s semifinals and medal matches will be played Saturday with the men’s “final four” matches Sunday as the winning pairs in each gender share the $43,500 first-place prizes. The men’s schedule mirrors the women, starting one day later with country quota matches on Tuesday.
The talented field includes the entire final four finishers from both genders from last yearas well as the last five women’s gold medalists in Stavanger and the last three men’s gold medal winners at the extremely popular event and venue.
In last year’s women’s competition, Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca won gold, with silver going to their Brazilian compatriots Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes, the bronze to USA’s Nicole Branagh/Misty May-Treanor and fourth place to Czech Republic’s Lenka Hajeckova/Hana Klapalova.
Juliana/Larissa, the three-time defending FIVB Swatch World Tour season point championships, come to Stavanger after winning the women’s FIVB Swatch World Championships a week ago in Rome. The Brazilian duo also won two gold medals in Stavanger (2006 and 2010) as well as the silver at the 2009 FIVB Swatch World Championships. They are the current FIVB Swatch World Tour money leaders will also in the women’s field in Stavanger is current season point leaders Jennifer Kessy/April Ross of the United States, who defeated Juliana/Larissa in the stunning three-set gold medal match at the 2009 FIVB Swatch World Championships in Stavanger.
Last year’s men’s final four finishers in Stavanger were Germany’s David Klemperer/Eric Koreng (gold), Norway’s Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr (silver), USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers (bronze) and Spain’s Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera (fourth place).
Leading the men’s field into Stavanger is the newly crowned FIVB Swatch World Champions Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego of Brazil. Alison/Emanuel are also the current 20111 FIVB Swatch World Tour point and money leaders after winning three straight FIVB events in Prague, Czech Republic, Beijing, China and Rome.
A total of 170 teams from 41 countries (94 men’s teams from 34 countries and 76 women’s teams from 30 countries) have entered the FIVB Swatch ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger 2011 including Angola (1 men, 0 women) Australia (2,2), Austria (4,3), Belarus (1,0), Belgium (2,1), Brazil (8,6), Bulgaria (0,1), Canada (3,3), China (2,3), Czech Republic (2,3), Denmark (1,0), Estonia (1,0), Finland (0,1), France (2,3), Georgia (1,1), Germany (6,8), Great Britain (1,2), Greece (2,2), Italy (3,2), Japan (2,2), Kazakhstan (2,1), Latvia (2,1), Mexico (0,1), Netherlands (5,4), New Zealand (1,0), Norway (12,7), Poland (2,2), Portugal (2,0), Puerto Rico (0,1), Russia (4,3), Slovak Republic (0,1), Slovenia (0,1), Spain (2,2), Sweden (2,0), Switzerland (4,3), Turkey (1,0), Ukraine (1,0), United States (5,5), Uruguay (1,0), Vanuatu (0,1), and Venezuela (4,0).
Also in the women’s field is USA’s two-time Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh who won gold in Stavanger in 2008.
The 2011 calendar features 15 women's and 14 men's events, including 12 double-gender tournaments, within all five FIVB confederations plus one special 24-team single-gender women’s test event held August 9-14 at London’s Horse Guards Parade, the venue for beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour is offering $7.64-million in prize money. Twelve of the tournaments are combined men's and women's events, including the World Championships and all six Grand Slam stops.
After the FIVB Swatch ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger 2011, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour continues with two more Grand Slam double-gender events: July 4-9 in Gstaad, Switzerland (1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam) and July 11-16 in Moscow (Moscow Grand Slam). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is $600,000.
The FIVB Swatch ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger 2011 will be the 224th women’s event and 263rd men’s event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour (open, grand slam, Olympic and Goodwill). The first men’s FIVB Swatch World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the first women’s event was played August 14-16, 1992 at Almeria, Spain.
For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, please visit www.fivb.org.