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

Moscow welcomes first of three important beach volleyball events

FIVB Technical Supervisor Dirk Decher welcomes the media. To his right tournament director Ilya Volodarsky.
Moscow, Russia, June 6, 2012 - After a short break the FIVB SWATCH Beach Volleyball World Tour continued on Wednesday with the Moscow Grand Slam. This is the fifth consecutive year the capital of Russia hosts one of the main international competitions in beach volleyball. An opening press conference was held at the first day of competition at the stadium in the Victory Park, attended by the organizers, FIVB and SWATCH representatives, as well as players from the Russian national team. 

Tournament director Ilya Volodarsky welcomed the media. ''First of all I want to thank all the sponsors, partners and those organizations, without whom our event would not have taken place. Many thanks to the Russian Ministry of Sport, the Moscow Department of Physical Education and Sport and the Russian Volleyball Federation. We are on the verge of a great week of beach volleyball at the highest level. Almost all the top athletes are on the entry list, with the exception of USA’s olympic champions Rogers and Dalhausser who were forced to withdraw due to injury. I hope the weather does not interfere and fans will once again enjoy the grand spectacle here at Poklonnaya Gora.’’

On behalf of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), technical supervisor Dirk Decher from Switzerland also said some welcoming words: ''We are pleased to welcome you all here on Poklonnaya Gora. For the fifth time Moscow is hosting this high levelled competition. Big thanks to Mr. Volodarsky and his entire team for the excellent organization. The venue in Moscow is located at one of the most attractive places in the city, which should bring a lot of viewers. Moscow Grand Slam is the penultimate in the Olympic qualification tournament, so we are expecting great sand battles for Olympic ranking points."

In conclusion, Ilya Volodarsky told the media representatives some great news which was a huge surprise for everyone. At the end of June, Moscow will stage another important international beach volleyball tournament. From June 28 to July 1 the FIVB World Cup Olympic Qualification will be held at the new site: 'Vodny Stadium'. Two last tickets for the Olympic Games in London will be at stake. The tournament will be held in the format 'country against country', like in the CEV Continental Cup Final, which is also scheduled in Moscow from June 22-24 (women) at Poklonnaya Gora.

Women’s country quota

After the press conference the tournament started with the country quota matches for the women. For the second year Brazil’s Lili Vieira were successful in Moscow. They beat Agatha/Seixas 21-16 21-19 in het first round and in the second round the girls broke the resistance of one of the famous Salgado-sisters - Maria Clara - and her partner Raquel. This fight was much more tense, but Lili and Vieira were able to complete the game in two sets (24-22 21-17). 

‘’Moscow is very good place for us. We love to come here. We love the crowd, the venue and the atmosphere’’, Lili said. ‘’It was a hard day, two games against Brazil is never easy. Sure, we are happy to make it into the qualification tournament, but it is still only the beginning of the event. We will try to do our best tomorrow.''

Germany and USA both advanced two teams, Bieneck/Grossner and Borger/Büthe for the Germans and Akers/Hochevar and Fendrick/Hanson for the US. The Moscow Grand Slam continues on Thursday with the single elimination qualification tournament for the women and country quota for the Brazilian men.     
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7/06/2012 Thiago and Ferramenta earn qualification ticket in Moscow
6/06/2012 Moscow welcomes first of three important beach volleyball events
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