Stare Jablonki, Poland, June 10, 2012 – A quaint village in the Mazury region of Poland will again become the center of the beach volleyball world from August 13-19 as Stare Jablonki gears up to host the last of a FIVB-record eight grand slam events of the year—the $600,000 Mazury Orlen Grand Slam.
The increasingly popular summertime event will once again be held on the grounds of the beautiful, very hospitable and sprawling Hotel Anders. Featuring men-only competition for the first four years, and then double gender tournaments in 2008 and 2009, Stare Jablonki moved up a step to hold Poland's first ever double-gender grand slam in 2009 and continued as a grand slam the last two years as well.
The Polish Volleyball Federation, Hotel Anders and Stare Jablonki have been awarded the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Championships.
The 2011 Stare Jablonki gold medals were claimed by USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers for the men and Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca for the women. USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers defeated home-country stars Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel in the men’s gold medal match for their third straight gold medal in Stare Jablonki and Brazil’s Juliana/Larissa won the women’s gold medal match over USA’s Jennifer Kessy/April Ross to give the Brazilians their third consecutive gold medal in Stare Jablonki as well.
Winning the men’s bronze medal last year was Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Alison Emanuel while the women’s bronze went to Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes.
The Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki will be the first FIVB SWATCH World Tour event following this year’s 2012 London Olympic Games and it will be the 12th all-time men’s event in Poland and ninth tournament in Stare Jablonki while it will be the ninth overall women’s event in Poland and fifth world tour gathering in Stare Jablonki. The men played earlier this season in April in Myslowice, Poland. The sprawling and tranquil Hotel Anders event site is located adjacent to the beautiful Lake Szelag Maly.
The Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki is last of a FIVB-record eight grand slam events this season. The 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour is offering 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.
Women’s play in the Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki will begin on August 13 with the gold medal match on August 18 and men’s action will start on August 14 and finish with their gold medal match on August 19.
Besides the gold medalist, the other medalists from last year’s Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki are expected to play in this year’s event as well.
While the men’s world tour has been in Stare Jablonki every year since 2004 for this exciting summer extravaganza, the women’s world tour has been in Stare Jablonki every year since 2008.
Besides USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers (who also won in Stare Jablonki in 2010 and 2011), other men’s event winners in Stare Jablonki expected in this year’s field are Brazil’s Emanuel (playing again this year with Alison Cerutti) (2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 with Ricardo-who is playing this year with Pedro Cunha), Switzerland’s Martin Laciga (playing this year with Jonas Weingart) (2005 with Markus Egger) and Brazil’s Pedro Salgado (playing this year with Marcio Araujo) (2009 with Benjamin Insfran).
On the women’s side, in addition to Brazil’s Juliana/Larissa (who also won together in Stare Jablonki in 2009 and 2010), other event winners in Austria who are expected here this year is Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca (2009 and 2010).
All-time in Poland, the FIVB SWATCH World Tour has also had three men’s events in Myslowice along with two women’s events each in Myslowice and Warsaw. With 26 total, Brazil has won the most medals overall in Poland (14 men and 12 women), followed by the United States with eight (five men, three women), China with five (one men, four women), Germany with five (four men, one women), Spain with four (all men), Australia with two (one men, one women), Norway with two (one men, one women) and with one each are Argentina (men), Netherlands (women) and Poland (men).