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SWATCH WORLD TOUR 2011

HP Beach Open | Men
  23/08/2011 - 28/08/2011

 
PRESS RELEASE
High ambitions in The Hague

Last year's winners in The Hague Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes
     
 
The Hague, the Netherlands, August 22, 2011 – The Dutch coastal town of The Hague will host it’s third FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour event this week as the world's top athletes prepare to compete on the shores of the North Sea.

New promoter TIG Sports has high expectations and lots of ambition. “We want to organize the FIVB Swatch World Championships in 2015 and before that work up to a Grand Slam status,” managing partner Niels Markensteijn says.

TIG (This Is Golf) is originally a golf promoter, but Markensteijn and his colleagues fell in love with beach volleyball after visiting the Olympic beach tournament at Bondi Beach in Sydney in 2000. “That was amazing! Beach volleyball is the game of the future. And we want to help expand this sport in Holland, like we did with golf.”

They visited other World Tour events to get an idea. Markensteijn: “We want to market ourselves somewhere between a sponsor happening like Gstaad and a party event like Klagenfurt.” With a second covered grandstand and lights to accommodate evening matches TIG hopes to attract more visitors and media attention this year.

The main attraction on the court will be world champions Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Fran°a from Brazil and two-time Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Walsh competes in The Hague for the first time, May-Treanor finished 13th last year with Nicole Branagh.

Walsh’s husband Casey Jennings and his partner Kevin Wong will be defending their title this week. Last year the Americans entered the main draw as lucky losers and ended up winning gold, defeating Benjamin Insfran/Bruno Oscar Schmidt in the final. Brazil’s Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli won the 2010 women’s edition, beating China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi.

Other contenders in the 2011 HP Beach Open are 2004 Olympic champion Ricardo Santos and his new partner Pedro Cunha and Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran, who recently reunited and instantly won their first tournament last week in Aland.

The HP Beach Open starts with the country quota on Tuesday for both men and women. After qualifications on Wednesday the main draw will follow on Thursday. Both men’s and women’s semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, with the finals being played on Sunday.

The $380.000 HP Beach Open is the final double gender event on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour. After The Hague the women will play one more tournament early November in Phuket, Thailand. The men finish in Agadir with the Morocco Open from October 4-9.
  
 
More press releases
28/08/2011 Brazil’s Cunha and Ricardo win HP Beach Open
27/08/2011 Dutch pair Nummerdor/Schuil in final HP Beach Open
26/08/2011 Dutch team Nummerdor/Schuil beats top seed in The Hague
25/08/2011 Top seeded Fijalek and Prudel make no mistake in The Hague
24/08/2011 Eight teams from eight different countries advance to men’s main draw
23/08/2011 Harley and Thiago win Brazil’s country quota
22/08/2011 High ambitions in The Hague
27/01/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar finalised