Phuket Open | 15 - 19 October 2014
Lausanne, Switzerland, January 22, 2014 – The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will once again be the centrepiece of the international beach volleyball calendar in 2014.
From Long Beach in California to Shanghai in China and many places in between players will compete for their share of the $10.2m in prize money on offer from 10 Grand Slams, an inaugural FIVB Grand Slam Final and 10 Open tournaments. The Grand Slams conclude with the first ever FIVB Grand Slam Final, which will offer $500,000 in prize money.
Last year the men’s tournament went down to the wire as Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs held off the challenge of Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt at the Durban Open in December. Brazilian fans did have something to celebrate though as Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima won the women’s crown after dominating all season.
It means that both sides will be pushing hard to retain their titles, while the depth of the teams chasing them grows ever deeper.
Initially nine Grand Slam events were named, but in recent weeks the total went up to the maximum of 10 when the Klagenfurt returned as a host following a year off the Tour when the Austrian venue hosted the CEV Beach Volleyball European Championships.
The lake-side resort will once again welcome the crème-de-la-crème of the beach volleyball world as the Austrian city gets set to host the ninth double-gender Beach Volleyball Grand Slam of the 2014 season from July 29 to August 3.
This year will mark the 17th time that the Lake Worthersee site has hosted a stop on the international circuit. With the exception of last season, the men’s World Tour has stopped in Klagenfurt every year since 1997 and the women’s since 2001. In 2001 Klagenfurt also hosted the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and this year’s tournament will make Klagenfurt the most experienced host in the World Tour’s history with 16 men’s and 12 women’s tournament to its name.
“Beach volleyball players and fans have come to expect the best from Klagenfurt,” said FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°. “I am proud to have the opportunity to now build on the previous successes of this stop on the World Tour and look forward to once again experiencing all that this excellent venue has to offer.”
“We are very happy to organise the A1 Beach Volleyball Grand Slam in cooperation with the FIVB at Lake Worthersee in Klagenfurt, Carinthia again this year,” said Hannes Jagerhofer of the ACTS Group, the official promoter of the event.
Earlier in the month, the organisers of the Moscow Grand Slam announced a date change to June 11 to 15 so as to accommodate Klagenfurt’s inclusion in the 2014 beach volleyball calendar.
Also making a return to this year’s calendar is Stavanger in Norway, another popular stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The unique dockside venue, which hosted the 2009 World Championships, was last present on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 2011, after 13 straight seasons, but returns with a Grand Slam from June 24-29.
The ever-popular Stare Jablonki, returns as a Grand Slam after hosting the World Championships last year. The venue on the banks of Lake Mazury will now welcome beach volleyball players and fans from August 19 to 24.
Through the year there are a host of familiar cities hosting Grand Slams; Long Beach in the USA continues for a second season after a successful debut in 2013, while The Hague in the Netherlands is planning on spreading the tournament over four different cities in preparation for their hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2015.
There are also Grand Slams in Fortaleza in Brazil, Berlin, Moscow and Gstaad in Switzerland before the FIVB Grand Slam Final.
The participants in the FIVB Grand Slam Final, for
which the location and dates are still to be confirmed, will be made up of the
top eight nations on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam ranking with a
maximum quota of two teams per country, per gender. The newly conceived Grand Slam Final has yet to be assigned and the FIVB
is in negotiations with the promoters who have shown an interest in staging
Fuzhou in China, Anapa in Russia, Xiamen in China
and Phuket in Thailand will once again host Open tournaments with a further five
organised in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Czech capital Prague, Parana in Argentina
and Qatari capital Doha with Durban in South Africa once again bringing the
season to a close in December.
The newest addition to the 2014 beach volleyball calendar, the FIVB U17 Volleyball World Championships will be held in Bahia Banderas in Mexico, providing yet another opportunity for young beach volleyball players to come to the fore and gain international experience in their sport.
Polish town Myslowice will once again do the honours of hosting the FIVB Beach Volleyball U23 World Championships while Oporto in Portugal will put its previous experience of hosting the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships to practice yet again in 2014. Cypriot resort Larnaka will host the U21 World Championships.
The second edition of the Youth Olympic Games are set to take place from August 16 to 28, 2014 in the Chinese city of Nanjing and it will be the first time beach volleyball will be included in the sporting line-up.