Quebec City, Canada, July 20, 2011—Eight men’s teams from six countries advanced from Wednesday’s qualification tournament to Thursday’s start of the main draw from at the $380,000 FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011, presented by Videotron.
Back in North America for the first time since 2007, the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour is in Canada this week featuring beach volleyball tandems from around the world as the double-gender event marks the eighth time the world tour is visiting Canada and the first time competing in Quebec City.
The ninth of 14 men’s and 10th of 15 women’s internationally-televised tournaments on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour schedule, the FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011 will run parallel schedules for both genders. Action begins with country quota playoff matches on Tuesday, single elimination qualification tournaments on Wednesday to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team double elimination main draws which will be held on Thursday through Sunday. The semifinals will conclude play for each gender on Saturday and medal matches for each gender will be played Sunday afternoon as the winning pairs in each gender share the $30,000 first-place prizes.
The venue for the open tournament in Quebec will be I’Externat St-Jean Berchmans and Seminaire des Peres Maristes in the Quebec borough of Sillery. Admission is free to Tuesday’s country quota playoff matches as well as Wednesday’s qualification tournaments and ticket information for Thursday through Sunday is available at the event website, www.quebecopenjeep.com or by calling 418.656.3668.
Filling the final eight spots for Thursday’s start of the 32-team men’s main draw are two teams each from France and Great Britain along with single tandems from Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States.
As the FIVB Swatch World Tour is back in Canada, Canadians will have a very strong presence in the event with three teams in each gender already pre-seeded into the main draw. Canada’s men’s main draw teams so far are Christian Redmann/Ben Saxton, Josh Binstock/Richard Van Huizen and Martin Reader/Chaim Schalk. Joining them after their qualification match win Wednesday is Maverick Hatch/Sam Schachter
Joining qualifier Hatch/Schachter in the main draw will be France’s two teams-brothers Andy and Kevin Ces, and Fabien Dugrip/Yannick Salvetti while Great Britain’s two main draw duos will be Steven Grotowski/John Garcia-Thompson and Jody Gooding/Gregg Weaver.
The other three teams advancing to the main draw are Australia’s Christopher McHugh/Joshua Slack, Japan’s Yoshiumi Hasegawa/Shinya Inoue and USA’s John Hyden/Sean Scott.
To the thrill of a few thousand home country fans at the Quebec center court, Canada’s Hatch/Schachter advanced by coming from behind to defeat Japan’s Katsuhiro Shirator/Keisuke Imai, 19-21, 21-19 and 15-9. Canada’s Schachter won last year’s FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships with Garret May in Alanya, Turkey.
France’s Ces brothers moved into the main draw with their 21-11, 21-13 win over Canada’s Andrew Hinchey/Ryan Vandenburg in 34 minutes while their compatriots Dugrip/Salvetti earned their spot in the final 32 by beating Spain’s Francisco Marcos/Christian Garcia, 21-18, 21-23 and 15-7 in 53 minutes. Great Britain’s advancing teams won their single qualification matches as Grotowski/Garcia-Thompson beat Japan’s Shinpei Aoki/Kentaro Asahi, 21-17, 21-15 in 41 minutes and countrymen Gooding/Weaver eliminated compatriots Tom Lord/Robin Miedzbrodzki, 21-14, 21-17 in 39 minutes.
Among the other advancing teams, Australia’s McHugh/Slack finally overcame Mexico’s Aldo Miramontes/Juan Virgen, 21-15, 20-22, 15-10 in 50 minutes and Japan’s Hasegawa/Inoue advanced by defeating China’s Cheng Chen/Pen Gao, 21-14, 12-21, 15-9 in 49 minutes.
USA’s Hyden/Scott, playing together for just their second time in a FIVB Swatch World Tour event, made their first main draw by advancing first through the country quota playoffs with one win on Tuesday and then winning two three-set qualification tournament matches Wednesday. In the first round of the qualifier, the veteran Hyden/Scott, both 38 who have been playing domestically in the United States, defeated New Zealand brothers Ben and Sam O’Dea, 21-16, 19-21 and 15-12 in 51 minutes and in the second round they came from behind to defeat Australia’s Sam Boehm/Isaac Kapa, 15-21, 22-20 and 15-10.
The FIVB Swatch World Tour previously had tournaments in Canada in Toronto (three from 1998-2000) and Montreal (four from 2002-2007). A total of 97 teams from 29 countries have entered the FIVB Swatch Québec Open Jeep 2011.
As expected as the host nation, Canada had eight men’s teams in the country quota playoffs while the United States had two teams. Playing in their first world tour event this season, USA veterans Hyden/Scott topped compatriots Brad Keenan/Casey Patterson, regulars on this year’s tour, 21-16, 21-12 in 32 minutes to advance to the qualification tournament.
The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour 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 Quebec Open Jeep 2011, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour returns to Europe for the final two of six 2011 Grand Slam double-gender events: July 25-31 in Stare Jablonki, Poland (Mazury Orlen Grand Slam Stare Jablonki 2011) and Klagenfurt, Austria (A1 Grand Slam presented by Volksbank Klagenfurt 2011). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is $600,000.
The FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011 will be the 227th women’s event and 266th 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. While this is the 25th year that the FIVB has sanctioned international pro beach volley events, it is the 23rd year of the men’s and 20th year of the women’s FIVB Swatch World Tour.
Also on-site this week in Quebec will be a special production crew from IMG, the company that not only produces the live international telecasts of select matches, but also the weekly FIVB Swatch World Tour highlight show that is syndicated throughout the world.
For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, please visit www.fivb.org or visit the event website at www.quebecopenjeep.com.