Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 28, 2011 – After hosting its eighth all-time FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour event and first in four years in July, Canada returns to the international stage this week as Halifax hosts the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21.
This year’s 11th annual double-gender event starts Wednesday in Halifax, a regional municipality of over 300,000 residents located in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada.
The world championship event is being held through Sunday at the purpose-built beach volleyball complex on the Salter Lot of the Halifax Waterfront. This is the first time in the event’s 11-year history that it is being held in North America.
Gathered in Halifax for this year’s event are 61 teams (29 men and 32 women) from 25 countries. With 20 teams in each gender pre-seeded into their respective main draws, qualification tournaments will be held Wednesday to determine the final four main draw spots.
The 24 teams will be divided into six four-team pools for round-robin play on Thursday and Friday with the top two teams in each pool along with the best four third place teams advancing to the single-elimination bracket phase that will begin on Friday afternoon. The medal matches for each gender will be held on Sunday event on the Salter Sand center court.
A total of 2,000 tons of special sand have been transported to the Salter Sand complex to build the four competition and two practice courts for the venue, which includes the 2,000-seat featured center court. Admission to the event is free for Wednesday’s qualifying and tickets are on sale for the main draw days (Thursday through Sunday) through the event website at www.sandjamhalifax.ca or by calling 902.444.3773. Children, five and under, are free for the entire event.
“These events have been critical to create a new generation of Beach Volleyball athletes,” said Angelo Squeo, the FIVB Beach Volleyball Events Director. “In a few years, these players will challenge for FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour medals and vie for berths in future Olympic Games. The winners of these events will also be rewarded by the FIVB and the respective organizers with wild cards and free transportation to take part in the main draw of a FIVB Swatch World Tour event in 2011 or 2012.”
Countries represented in Halifax at the 11th anniversary of this event are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United States and Venezuela.
Among the men’s teams are 18 men’s players (five teams and eight other players) who played in last year’s FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships in Alanya, Turkey, including Canada’s Garrett May who with then teammate Sam Schachter won the gold medal.
A total of 24 women’s players (seven teams along with 10 other players) from last year’s event are in Canada this year along with 10 other players who were part of last year’s field, including USA’s Tara Roenicke who won the women’s gold medal with then-teammate Summer Ross. May will be competing this year with Danny Demyanenko while Roenicke is teamed with Rebecca Strehlow.
A founding province of Canada, Nova Scotia is nearly surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and is known for its high tides, lobster, fish, blueberries and apples. Halifax was the site of the first British town in Canada, founded in 1749. Since then, the area has evolved to be home for charming fishing villages, farming communities and Atlantic Canada's largest city. Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada, has flourished as a prominent port city. Halifax was founded in 1749 by Governor Edward Cornwallis and 2,500 settlers to act as a naval and army base to protect the area, creating Canada’s first permanent British town on the world’s second-largest natural harbor. The peninsula, which Halifax is located on, is 4.5 miles wide and two miles long.
As the host nation, Canada has three teams in each gender pre-seeded into the main draw. In addition to defending champion May and new teammate Demyanenko, the other two men’s teams are Nick Del Bianco/Ben Chow and Fiodar Kazhamiaka/William Sidgwick. The three women’s teams representing Canada are Victoria Altomare/Melissa Humana-Paredes, Sarah Gosselin/Sara Robichaud and Alexandra Hudson/Charlotte Sider.
Besides Canada’s May, another top individual in the men’s field is Brazil’s Vitor Felipe who won the silver medal in this event both of the last two years. As a team, Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak won the gold medal at the 2010 FIVB Swatch Youth World Championships (under 19), in Porto, Portugal and Ukraine’s Sergiy/Valeriy Samoday who won the gold medal at the same event in Alanya, Turkey in 2009.
In addition to USA’s Roenicke, among the top women’s players are Germany’s Christine Aulenbrock and Victoria Bieneck who won the women’s gold medal at the 2009 FIVB Swatch Youth World Championships in Alanya and are competing this year with different teammates. Bieneck is pre-seeded into the main draw with Cinja Tillmann while Bieneck will start in the qualification tournament with Isabell Schneider as her teammate this year. One of the seven teams playing together from last year’s event in Alanya is Russia’s Ekaterina Karapischenko/Maria Ushkova who won the silver medal in last year’s FIVB Swatch Youth World Championships in Porto and Ushkova also won the bronze with a different teammate at the youth world championships in 2009.
Of the 10 FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships, Brazilians have captured three men’s and six women’s titles. Pablo Herrera, who won the 2002 U-21 title for Spain with Raul Mesa, captured the silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with Javier Bosma. Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, the 2005 U-21 champions from Latvia, placed ninth at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The Latvians upset eventual 2008 Olympic gold medal winners Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States in their first Beijing match. Brazilian Pedro Salgado, the 2008 FIVB Swatch World Tour champions with Harley Marques, captured the 2003 and 2006 U-21 titles with Pedro Cunha and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, respectively.
Overall, Brazil leads in final four appearances at the FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships with 18 total (8 men’s and 10 women’s) and in gold medals with three men’s and six women’s. Second in men’s final fours is Spain with four, including two gold medals) and second in women’s final fours is the Netherlands with six (includine one gold medal).
Produced by Canada’s Sports and Entertainment Atlantic in association with and under the sanction of the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, more information is available at www.fivb.org or www.sandjamhalifax.ca. The event also has a special Nova Scotia web cam venue link at www.novascotiawebcams.com/halifax/sands-at-salter.html.
2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Junior World Championships
Men’s Entry List (as of 28/08/11)
Main Draw, by Country
Nicholas Anstey/William Mercer, Australia
Helmut Moser/Lorenz Petutsching, Austria
Marcus Carvalhaes/Vitor Felipe, Brazil
Nick Del Bianco/Ben Chow, Canada
Danny Demyanenko/Garrett May, Canada
William Sidgwick/Fiodar Kazhamiaka, Canada
Jiasu Dou/Jiaxin Wu, China
Oliver Kaszas/Sebastian Kaszas, Denmark
Hugo Alimi/Tanguy Duthion, France
Philipp Bergmann/Jonas Schroder, Germany
Tiziano Andreatta/Michele Baratto, Italy
Tkakumi Takahashi/Tatsuya Watanabe, Japan
Svein Solhaug/Jonas Tomter, Norway
Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, Poland
Ruslan Bykanov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov, Russia
Kevin Medina/Cesar Menendez, Spain
Mirco Gerson/Gabriel Kissling, Switzerland
Sergiy Popov/Valeriy Samoday, Ukraine
Parker Kalmbach/Vaun Lennon, United States
Gerardo Mendez/Vicente Salazar, Venezuela
Qualification Tournament, by Country
Christoph Dressler/Fabian Kandolf, Austria
Henry Glockner/Dominik Stork, Germany
Abolins Armands/Haralds Regza, Latvia
Mario Celedon/Mauricio Lopez, Mexico
Ricardo Galindo/Juan Revuelta, Mexico
Robin Bergheim/Lars Retterholt, Norway
Andrey Bolgov/Viacheslav Kirienko, Russia
Christopher Austin/Ian Satterfield, United States
Jose Ruiz/Maikhol Salcedo, Venezuela
Women’s Entry List (as of 28/08/11)
Main Draw, by Country
Taliqua Clancy/Eliza Hynes, Australia
Rebecca Cavalcanti/Carolina Maxima, Brazil
Victoria Altomare/Melissa Humana-Paredes, Canada
Sarah Gosselin/Sara Robichaud, Canada
Alexandra Hudson/Charlotte Sider, Canada
Lingling Lin/Changning Zhang, China
Zoe Cazalet/Joanna Mano, France
Victoria Bieneck/Cinja Tillmann, Germany
Giada Benazzi/Greta Cavestro, Italy
Anjiera Ishida/Chiyo Suzuki, Japan
Sarahi Navarro/Gloria Santoyo, Mexico
Julia Laggner/Corinna Wahl, Namibia
Rimke Braakman/Sophie van Gestel, Netherlands
Camilla Nergard/Signe Tauboll, Norway
Renata Bekier/Daria Paszek, Poland
Ekaterina Karapischenko/Maria Ushkova, Russia
Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland
Zuzana Sajmovicova/Martina Slavikova, Slovak Republic
Tara Roenicke/Rebecca Strehlow, United States
Norisbeth Agudo/Gloriangel Iriarte, Venezuela
Qualification Tournament, by Country
Teresa Andessner/Christina Wallinger, Austria
Eliska Galova/Tereza Vankova, Czech Republic
Christine Aulenbrock/Isabell Schneider, Germany
Lyubov Bogatu/Oxana Pilipenko, Kazakhstan
Marina Pilipenko/Bakhtygul Samalikova, Kazakhstan
Samara Aleman/Frida Lopez, Mexico
Esther Hullegie/Jolien Sinnema, Netherlands
Irmelin Sannarnes/Ane Tveit Hjortland, Norway
Martyna Kozinska/Sylwia Pilarek, Poland
Yulia Abalakina/Ksenia Dyachuk, Russia
Maria Corral/Paula Soria, Spain
Sara Hughes/Caitlin Racich, United States