Quebec City, Canada, July 20, 2011—Eight women’s teams from seven 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 began 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 is 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 32-team women’s main draw are two teams from host country Canada along with single tandems from Columbia, France, Greece, Japan, the United States and Vanuatu.
As the FIVB Swatch World Tour returns to 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 women’s pre-seeded main draw teams are Marie-Andree Lessard/Annie Martin, Heather Bansley/Elizabeth Maloney, and Kacie MacTavish/Julie Rodrigue. To the delight of several thousand home-country fans on the Quebec center court, joining those three after winning qualification matches Wednesday are Jamie Lynn Broder/Ashley Voth and Victoria Altomare/Melissa Humana-Paredes.
Also advancing to the women’s main draw are Columbia’s Sara Fraija/Andrea Galindo, France’s Eva Hamzaoui/Laura Longuet, Japan’s Sayaka Tanaka/Sayaka Mizoe, Greece’s Joanna Papageorgiou/Christina Roubanis, USA’s Brittany Hochevar/Lisa Rutledge and Vanuatu’s Miller Elwin/Linline Matauatu.
The FIVB Swatch World Tour previously had tournaments in Canada in Toronto (three from 1998-2000) and Montreal (four from 2002-2007).
Earning byes in the qualification tournament to advance directly to Thursday’s main draw were the top four qualification seeds: USA’s Hochevar/Rutledge, Japan’s Mizoe/Tanaka, France’s Hamzaoui/Longuet and Vanuatu’s Elwin/Matauatu.
Winning their qualifying matches Wednesday to move forward, Canada’s Broder/Voth defeated compatriots Victoria Cowley/Alexandra Mingay in three sets, 25-23, 17-21 and 15-11 in 54 minutes while Altomare/Humana-Paredes beat Japan’s Miwa Asao/Hiroko Matsuyama in straight sets, 23-21, 21-19 in 44 minutes.
Earning the first FIVB Swatch World Tour main draw appearances for both teams, Columbia’s Fraija/Galindo beat Australia’s Claire Kelly/Carla Kleverlaan, 21-12, 21-15 in 37 minutes and Greece’s Papageorgiou/Roubanis eliminated Canada’s Rebecca Billings/Kristina Vlcek, 21-16, 21-12 in 37 minutes.
A total of 97 teams from 29 countries have entered the FIVB Swatch Québec Open Jeep 2011.
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.