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Moscow Grand Slam | Men
  7/06/2012 - 12/06/2012

Moscow eager to impress ahead of Grand Slam

Poklonnaya Gora will again provide the backdrop for the Moscow Grand Slam from June 6 to 12
Moscow, Russia, May 29, 2012 – Moscow is getting ready to host its fifth FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour event in a row from June 6 to 12 with the Grand Slam officially unveiled at a press conference on Thursday.

Poklonnaya Gora will provide the back drop for the tournament, which is the penultimate event for Olympic qualification.

“This year, as always, we will try to make the "Grand Slam" even more interesting for the spectators than in previous editions,” tournament director Ilya Volodarsky said. “The crowd will be awarded with a lot of surprises, including a drawing of travel vouchers to the Canary Islands, as well as giant sculptures of volleyball players from the “FIVB Heroes” campaign. All visitors will be able to be photographed against the backdrop of a 5m sculpture of Olympic champions Emanuel Rego from Brazil and Kerri Walsh from USA, as well as volleyball world champion Ekaterina Gamova from Russia.”

Volodarsky also hinted at further attractions, including news on Russia’s plans for the next Olympic cycle.

“For the next four years after London, the Russian Volleyball Federation in cooperation with the FIVB has developed a special program for the development of beach volleyball in our country, with various competitions in Russia, including international ones,” he added. “So, hopefully, a Russian audience, will not remain without beach volleyball.”

“As you know, SWATCH and beach volleyball have gone hand in hand for the last few years,” SWATCH representative Tatyana Uvarova added. “We are really proud to be a title sponsor of the World Tour.”

Maria Bratkova, who will enter the Main Draw as a wild card alongside partner Svetlana Popova, said that she was looking forward to stepping out in front of her home fans.

“First of all I would like to thank the organisers, the Russian Volleyball Federation and the FIVB for the opportunity to play in Moscow in the Main Draw,” said Bratkova, who has returned to the court this year after giving birth. “We hope to do our best and please our fans.”

She also spoke of her ambition to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“I think that our girls all have a chance to get a ticket to London via the Continental Cup final which will take place here in Moscow a week after the Grand Slam,” she added. “With the support of our crowd the chances are really high. As for the favourites of the Olympics, I think, as usual, the athletes from the US, Brazil and China will play the main roles in London. However, it is too early to talk about the favourites, because many of the top teams are preparing especially for the London event, so their shape can be judged only at the end of July.”
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29/05/2012 Moscow eager to impress ahead of Grand Slam
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