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Moscow Grand Slam | Women
  11/07/2011 - 16/07/2011

Women's Country Quota matches begin Moscow Grand Slam

Angela Vieira (left) and Lili Maestrini of Brazil come out on top in their Country Quota match in Moscow on Monday
Moscow, Russia, July, 11, 2011 – The 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Moscow Grand Slam kicked off at Poklonnaya Gora in the Russian capital on Monday with the women’s country quota matches now complete.

An official press conference was held at the press-center of the venue this morning as part of the tournament's opening ceremony.  Almost 2,500 tons of sand was delivered to the venue to construct five courts as the tournament is held in the historic setting for the fourth year in a row. Last year the event was attended by about 120,000 people and this year organizers hope to exceed this threshold.

The press conference was attended by officials: tournament director Ilya Volodarsky, FIVB supervisor Yu Cao of China, the brand manager of SWATCH group in Russia Alexandra Lutz, brand manager of J7 Lilia Maslak, as well as the representatives of the Russian national team Evgenia Ukolova and Konstantin Semenov who was fifth at the FIVB 1 to 1 Enegry Grand Slam in Gstaad together with Yaroslav Koshkarev last week.

“We are pleased to welcome all the journalists in the courts of Poklonnaya Gora,” Volodarsky said. “It's nice that this year we have much more media guys than before. This time it was decided to rotate the courts for 90 degrees which, we believe, will be more convenient for everyone - either spectators or media. We managed to do a huge amount of work in last two weeks. Hopefully, the result of all this preparations will not only be the high marks from FIVB, but also the good results of Russian athletes.”

FIVB Technical Supervisor Yu Cao said that the tournament will consist of 56 female and 56 male teams and also told the reporters some details of the Moscow Grand Slam schedule. Also, according to Mr Cao, the FIVB is grateful to promoter Ilya Volodarsky through which the world beach volleyball comes to Moscow at on one of the central areas of such a huge megapolis.

Brazil was the only nation who had to hold a Country Quota with Lili/Vieira coming out on top. In the tournament's first game they beat Renata/Lese Lima in two sets and after that had also an easy victory over Lima/Vivian in front of a surprising crowd.
"We are really happy! It's my first time in Moscow,” Lili said. “And for my partner it's already her third Moscow Grand Slam. I want to say that it's great event here. We loved the crowd, the guys cheered us perfect. So we enjoyed this day and these two games. The level of organization and overall here is fantastic so we will be waiting for tomorrow's qualification in a very good mood.”
The Moscow Grand Slam will continue on Tuesday with the men's Country Quota and women's qualification tournament.

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13/07/2011 Eleven teams still undefeated in women’s Moscow Grand Slam
12/07/2011 Eight qualification teams from seven countries advance to Moscow main draw
11/07/2011 Women's Country Quota matches begin Moscow Grand Slam
10/07/2011 Evgenia Ukolova counts on home advantage in Moscow
8/07/2011 Ross targeting gold medal success in Moscow
7/07/2011 Chinese teams to defend their title in Moscow Grand Slam
1/07/2011 Moscow ready for Grand Slam
27/01/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar finalised