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Patria Direct Prague Open | Men
  22/05/2012 - 27/05/2012

Rogers and Dalhausser return to Prague with mixed feelings

Americans Todd Rogers (left) and Phil Dalhausser won silver in Prague last year
Prague, Czech Republic, May 17, 2012 - After a week’s rest the FIVB SWATCH Beach Volleyball World Tour continues on Tuesday in Prague, the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic, with the fourth edition of the men’s only Patria Direct Open. Nearly a hundred teams from 36 different countries will compete on the sand at Stvanice Island during May 22-27.

Top seeded Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser will have mixed feelings returning to Prague. They finished on top at the 2010 event, but last year their record breaking winning streak ended in the Czech capital. After seven event titles in a row and forty consecutive victories, the reigning olympic champions lost to Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in the Prague final.

Rogers and Dalhausser started the 2012 Olympic season confident though, already winning two events; the season opener in Brasilia and the Shanghai Grand Slam. World champions Alison and Emanuel, who finished on top of the 2011 World Tour ranking with five titles, experienced a slow start with last week’s bronze in Beijing their best finish so far.

Prague has hosted three World Tour events before; in 2008 USA’s Jacob Gibb and Sean Rosenthal captured the gold. Host country Czech Republic has never reached the podium in any World Tour event. Local favourites Premysl Kubala and Petr Benes, brother of promoter Josef Benes, finished 7th last year in Prague and 17th in 2010. With the support of the home crowd they are determined to deliver their country a first World Tour podium place.

Also competing for the Czech Republic are Martin ‘Tony’ Lebl and Peter Platenik, both well-known indoor players. For Platenik, a member of the national team, it will be his first beach volleyball event. Lebl swapped the taraflex for sand before. He participated at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney with the national volleyball team before turning to beach volleyball and playing in Prague in 2010 and 2011.

The $190,000 Patria Direct Open starts on Tuesday with country quota matches, followed by the qualification tournament on Wednesday. Main draw begins on Thursday. The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday afternoon, the medal matches are set for Sunday.

Over 1,500 tons of sand have been transported to Stvanice Island, situated in the Vltava River. The centre court stadium, normally used for tennis, accommodates up to 8,000 spectators. After the event the sand is re-used to create new beach volleyball courts all over the country.

Prague is the fifth of 13 men’s events on the 2012 World Tour calendar, including the Olympic Games in London this summer. The women enjoy another week of rest and recuperation. After Prague the European teams gather in The Hague for the European Championships. The FIVB World Tour continues in June (6-12) with the Moscow Grand Slam.   
More press releases
28/05/2012 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour Season Update
27/05/2012 Brazil's Ricardo and Cunha claim fourth title
26/05/2012 All-Brazilian final in Prague
25/05/2012 USA and Brazil claim semifinal berth at Patria Direct Prague Open
24/05/2012 Rogers/Dalhausser ease through first day in Prague
23/05/2012 Spain’s Marcos/Garcia advance to Prague main draw
22/05/2012 Six teams emerge from country quota in Prague
17/05/2012 Rogers and Dalhausser return to Prague with mixed feelings