Klagenfurt, Austria, June 10, 2012 – Considered by many as the premier international beach volleyball event, Klagenfurt hosts the $600,000 A1 Grand Slam, the seventh of a FIVB record eight double-gender grand slam events on the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour. This year’s event will be held July 16-22 on the purpose-built stadium adjacent to Lake Wörthersee site as the final event prior to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
On July 19, the drawing by lot for pool assignments at the Olympics will also be held in Klagenfurt. This year will be an unprecedented 16th-straight year that the Lake Wörthersee site has hosted the international circuit as teams from Brazil and United States captured men’s and women’s gold medals, respectively, in 2011.
Brazilians Pedro Cunha/Ricardo Santos sealed the men's title on the Lake Wörthersee center court by defeating Germany’s Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann in the final, as USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers won the bronze medal.
The women's final saw USA’s Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh defeat China’s Chen Xue/Xi Zhang for the fifth Klagenfurt gold medal for the Americans while the Chinese captured their second straight silver medal in Klagenfurt. Netherlands’ Sanne Keizer/Marleen Van Iersel earned the bronze medal.
The A1 Grand Slam presented by Volksbank is the seventh of a FIVB-record eight grand slam events this season. The 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour offers a total purse of $6.32 million in prize money and features 13 events for each gender, including the 2012 London Olympic Games. There are six single-gender events, three for each gender. The international beach volleyball circuit is visiting 16 sites in 15 countries including four of the five FIVB Confederations.
The official announcement of the 24 Olympic teams for each gender that will represent their respective countries will be made on July 9. With the host country (Great Britain) receiving an automatic spot in each gender’s field, five spots are being determined by Continental Cup competition within each FIVB confederation and the final two countries for each gender will be the top two finishers in each gender at the World Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament in Moscow, June 28-July 1.
Women’s play in the A1 Grand Slam presented by Volksbank in Klagenfurt will begin on July 16 with the gold medal match on July 21 and men’s action will start on July 17 and finish with their gold medal match on July 22.
With the London Olympic Games looming on the horizon, the other medalists from last year’s A1 Grand Slam presented by Volksbank in Klagenfurt are expected to play in this year’s event as well.
While the men’s world tour has been in Klagenfurt every year since 1997 for this magical summer festival, the women’s world tour has been in Klagenfurt every year since 2001.
Besides Brazil’s Cunha/Ricardo (who also won here in 2002 with Jose Loiola and 2004 and 2007 with Emanuel Rego), other event winners in Klagenfurt in this year’s field are USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers (2006, 2009, 2010), Brazil’s Emanuel (playing this year with Alison Cerutti) (1997 with Ze Marco de Melo, 1998, 1999 and 2000 with Loiola and 2004 and 2007 with Ricardo),
On the women’s side, in addition to USA’s May-Treanor/Walsh (who also won together in Klagenfurt in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 and Walsh who won here in 2004 with Rachel Wacholder), other event winners in Austria who are expected here this year is Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca (2009 and 2010).
With 34 total, Brazil has won the most medals overall in Austria (23 men and 11 women), followed by the United States with 19 (eight men, 11 women), Germany with nine (five men, four women), China with four (all women), Netherlands with three (two men, one women), Norway with three (all men), Switzerland with two (both men) and with one each Argentina (men), Czech Republic (women), Russia (men) and Ukraine (women).