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Moscow Grand Slam | Men
  12/07/2011 - 17/07/2011

Chinese teams to defend their title in Moscow

Last year's winners Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu from China will defend their title at the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour Moscow Grand Slam which begins on Tuesday
Moscow, Russia, July 7, 2011 - While the FIVB Swatch World Tour players are still competing for the medals in Gstaad, Switzerland, Moscow is preparing for their fourth consecutive FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Grand Slam.

The stadium near Poklonnaya Gora (Victory Park) in the historical centre of the Russian capital is ready to welcome almost 150 top teams and thousands of spectators next Monday. Among the competitors are last year’s gold medallists Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu and Chen Xue/Xi Zhang from China.

On Monday the $600,000 FIVB Swatch Moscow Grand Slam 2011 will start with the women’s country quota matches. Qualification on Tuesday will deliver the final eight teams for the 32-team pool play. The eight pool winners go straight through to the second knockout round, while the second and third placed in each pool will start in the first round. The semifinals and medal matches are played on Saturday. The men’s competition has the same format but starts on Tuesday with the semifinals and medal matches scheduled for Sunday.

The Moscow Grand Slam is the fourth of six Grand Slam tournaments on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour. Moscow started out with a men’s only tournament in 1998 and 1999. In 2008 the FIVB Swatch World Tour returned to the Russian capital, after three years in St. Petersburg (2005, 2006 and 2007). This time the tournament was upgraded to a double gender Grand Slam and has been that way ever since.

Traditionally the Chinese have been very successful in Moscow, winning five medals in the past three years. Last year both Wu/Xu (men’s) and Xue/Zhang (women’s) took the gold. For Xue/Zhang it was their second Moscow title after their success in 2008. Wu/Xu finished second that same year, while Jia Tian/Jie Wang won the bronze in the 2008 women’s tournament.

Both Wu/Xu and Xue/Zhang will return to Moscow to defend their titles. The field also includes 2010 men’s silver medallists Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers (USA), bronze medallists Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann (GER) and newly crowned world champions Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego (BRA). The women’s tournament includes last year’s runners-up and current World Tour leaders Jennifer Kessy/April Ross (USA) and world champions Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca (BRA) who took the 2010 Moscow bronze. Also competing are two-time Olympic gold medallists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. The famous American duo made their comeback on the FIVB Swatch World Tour this year after a two-year break. So far that has resulted in a gold medal performance in Beijing, silver in Brasilia and silver at the World Championships in Rome two weeks ago.

After Moscow the FIVB Swatch World Tour will travel to Canada for the double gender $380,000 Quebec Open from July 19 to 24. It will be the first time the FIVB Swatch World Tour stops in Quebec, after visiting Toronto (1998-2000) and Montreal (2002, 2005-2007) in the past.

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14/07/2011 Vice-world champions Ricardo and Marcio no longer a team
14/07/2011 Twelve teams unbeaten in men’s Moscow Grand Slam
13/07/2011 Eight countries advance to main draw at Moscow Grand Slam
12/07/2011 Dollinger/Windscheif earn spot in men’s qualification tournament in Moscow
7/07/2011 Chinese teams to defend their title in Moscow
1/07/2011 Moscow ready for Grand Slam
27/01/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar finalised