Halifax, Canada, September 2, 2011 – Following Friday’s final round of pool play and round of 16 of the single-elimination bracket phase of the tournament, eight teams remain standing in their quest for the men’s gold medal at the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21.
This year’s 11th annual double-gender event started 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 alongside the picturesque Halifax Harbor, the second largest natural harbor in the world. This is the first time in the event’s 11-year history that it is being held in North America. The event features live video streaming from the SEA center court at www.sandjamhalifax.ca.
After the round of 16 matches played Friday afternoon at the SEA complex, two teams from host nation Canada and one each from Brazil, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the Ukraine will meet in the quarterfinals Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m. from women and noon from men.
With 24 teams divided into six four-team pools, four teams completed pool play with unblemished 3-0 records and all four won their round of 16 matches as well on Friday. Ticket information is available through the event website at www.sandjamhalifax.ca and they are on sale at the gate. Children, five and under, are free. Gathered in Halifax for this year’s event have been 59 teams (28 men and 31 women) from 24 countries.
The semifinals in each gender will conclude Saturday’s schedule and the medal matches for each gender will be played on Sunday on the SEA center court stadium. The top two teams in each pool along with the best four third place teams advanced to the single-elimination ‘knockout rounds’. Saturday’s schedule begins with the quarterfinals for each gender prior to the semifinals.
Undefeated in pool play and winning their round of 16 matches to advance are host country Canada’s sixth-seeded Fiodar Kazhamiaka/William Sidgwick, Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, Switzerland’s 10th-seeded Mirco Gerson/Gabriel Kissling and Ukraine’s 20th-seeded Sergiy Popov/Valeriy Samoday.
The other four teams who advanced from pool play and then won their round of 16 matches were host country Canada’s top-seeded Dany Demyanenko/Garrett May, Latvia’s 24th-seeded Abolins Armands/Haralds Regza, Brazil’s second-seeded Marcus Carvalhaes/Vitor Felipe and Russia’s fourth-seeded Andrey Bolgov/Ruslan Bykanov.
As the host nation, Canada had three teams in each gender pre-seeded into the main draw and both Demyanenko/May and Kazhamiaka/Sidgwick advanced from pool play and then also won their round of 16 matches as well. The other Canadian men’s team, Nick Del Bianco/Ben Chow also advanced from pool play and then lost in the round of 16 to finish with a 2-2 record in the tournament.
Canada’s May, 19, who lives in Toronto and is playing collegiate volleyball at the University of Western Ontario in London and is playing in his fifth youth or junior world championship, won the gold medal in last year’s FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships in Alanya, Turkey, with then-teammate Sam Schachter who is over the age limit this year to play. On Friday, May with new teammate Demyanenko lost their last pool play match to Italy’s Tiziano Andreatta/Michele Baratto, 21-17, 21-19 in 37 minutes but still won their pool with a 2-1 record.
They popular Canadian duo thrilled a full house of over 2,000 at the SEA center court stadium in their round of 16 elimination match with an impressive come-from-behind three-set win over 16h-seeded Denmark brothers Oliver and Sebastian Kaszas, 18-21, 21-16 and 15-12 in 49 minutes.
In Saturday’s men’s quarterfinals, the pairings will have Brazil’s Felipe/Carvalhaes vs. Latvia’s Armands/Regza, Ukraine’s Popov/Samoday vs. Switzerland’s Gerson/Kissling, Poland’s Kantor/Losiak vs. Kazhamiaka/Sidgwick and Russia’s Bykanov/Bolgov vs. Canada’s Demyanenko/May.
In the first four of Saturday’s men’s round of 16 matches, Brazil’s Felipe/Carvalhaes eliminated Austria’s Helmut Moser/Lorenz Petutsching, 21-18, 22-20 in 42 minutes, Latvia’s Armands/Regza beat Canada’s Del Bianco/Chow, Ukraine’s Popov/Samoday ousted Spain’s Kevin Medina/Cesar Menendez, 21-17, 21-12 in 38 minutes, and Switzerland’s Gerson/Kissling won by forfeit over a team from Venezuela.
In the second four round of 16 matches, Poland’s Kantor/Losiak defeated USA’s Parker Kalmbach/Vaun Lennon, 21-18, 21-10 in 28 minutes, Canada’s Kazhamiaka/Sidgwick defeated Germany’s Henry Glockner/Dominik Stork, 21-13, 21-15 in 35 minutes, Russia’s Bykanov/Bolgov survived in three sets against Germany’s Philipp Bergmann/Jonas Schroder, 21-15, 19-21 and 15-13 in 51 minutes and in the final match on the SEA center court, Canada’s Demyanenko/May overcame Denmark’s Kaszas brothers.
The losers in the round of 16 matches officially receive ninth place finishes in the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Junior World Championships.
Countries represented in Halifax at the 11th anniversary of this event are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United States and Venezuela.
The gold medal team in each gender 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. A total of 2,000 tons of special sand were transported by truck to the SEA complex to build the four competition and two practice courts for the venue, which includes the 2,000-seat featured SEA center court.
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.
Produced by Canada’s Sports and Entertainment Atlantic (SEA) in association with the Canadian Volleyball Federation and under the sanction of the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), more event information is available at www.fivb.org or www.sandjamhalifax.ca. The event also has a special Nova Scotia web cam link showing the entire venue at www.novascotiawebcams.com/halifax/sands-at-salter.html.