FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Parana Open | 28 October - 2 November 2014


Press release

Talking Stats: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - October 15

France's Edouard Rowlandson, left and Youssef Krou start the celebration after their gold medal win at last week's FIVB Xiamen Open in China, the first gold medal for France since 1993 as the FIVB World Tour is now on a two-week break.

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 15, 2014 — With a two week break to savor the flavor, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) pauses to look back on some of the significant stats from last week’s double-gender US$150,000 FIVB Xiamen Open in China.

In China was the first of the last five FIVB Open events that are part of the 2014 US$10.2 million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the tour resumes with four remaining FIVB Opens, three are double-gender, one is men only. Next up up on the final portion of the 2014 World Tour will be the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Parana Open, the second straight season that the FIVB World Tour has visited Argentina.

With 14 men’s events and 15 women’s tournaments now completed, here are some tantalizing tidbits from the 2014 FIVB World Tour that are part of the quick bites of today’s treats to whet your whistle for the FIVB Beach Volleyball international menu of global gastronomical cuisine:

•    Brazil’s Antonelli/Juliana Finally Strike Gold – It took 14 events on the 2014 FIVB World Tour calendar, but Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta finally captured their first FIVB World Tour gold medal together by winning the Xiamen Open.  For Juliana, a 46-time FIVB World Tour gold medalist who missed the entire 2013 season, this snaps her longest career FIVB World Tour winless streak at 14.  Her last win was with long-time partner Larissa Franca at the FIVB World Tour Stare Jablonki Grand Slam in August of 2012.  Antonelli, who now has 10 career FIVB World Tour titles, also snapped her longest winless streak of 34 FIVB World Tour events which included the entire 2013 campaign.  Her last gold medal was with Talita Antunes at the FIVB World Tour Sanya Open in April of 2012.

•    Brazilian Women Continue Win Streak -- In the first nine events of this season, Brazilian women had only one gold medal, a victory by Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas at the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open in May.  In the last six events, Brazil has now won five FIVB World Tour gold medals, including the last four.  Fernanda Alves/Taiana Lima started the bounty at the FIVB Hague Grand Slam, and after Bednarczuk/Seixas just missed in Long Beach, Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca won three straight, all FIVB Grand Slams, in Klagenfurt, Stare Jablonki, and São Paulo.  Finally Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli won this week’s event in China at the FIVB Xiamen Open.  The only blemish during the six events was the FIVB World Tour ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, United States where Brazil’s Bednarczuk/Seixas lost in the finals to April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States.  The Brazilian women also continued their FIVB World Tour finals dominance over China, now winning all four gold medal matches over the Asian nation.

•    China Keeps Winning Medals in China – With Fan Wang/Yuan Yue capturing their second silver medal in an FIVB World Tour event held in China, the Asian nation continued its medal prowess on their home soil, winning their 17th FIVB World Tour medal in 29 events, including two medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.  They’ve won twice as many medals in China as they have won playing in any other country.  The next five on the list for Chinese women’s teams are eight medals in Switzerland, six in Russia, and five each in Thailand, Norway, and Poland.  All totaled China has won 62 medals in the 160 FIVB World Tour events played outside of China where they’ve had at least one team entered.

•    First Time a Charm –Tealle Hunkus and Kendra Van Zwieten from the United States must feel like “the first time is a charm” after winning the bronze medal in their first FIVB World Tour event together.  The American duo struggled during pool play, finishing with just one win in their three matches but advanced from a three-way tie to the elimination round of 24.  In the “knock-out” rounds, the 11th-seeded Americans “knocked off” 12th-seeded countrywomen Heather Hughes/Ali McColloch, 8th-seeded Canadians Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, and 17th-seeded Kim Behrens/Sandra Seyfferth of Germany to reach each of their first FIVB World Tour semifinals.  After losing the first semifinal to Fan Wang/Yuan Yue of China, the pair won their first FIVB World Tour medal by defeating Greece’s Vasiliki Arvaniti/Maria Tsiartsiani, the duo with 55 FIVB World Tour events together, 21-12 and 21-15 in just 34 minutes to capture the bronze.  Neither player had even qualified for an FIVB World Tour event before Xiamen, with Hunkus having a previous best of 41st place at the 2009 FIVB World Tour Åland Open and Van Zwieten having two previous 33rd-place finishes.

•    Vicki and Maria Back in the Semifinals – Greece’s Vasiliki “Vicki” Arvaniti/Maria Tsiartsiani played 48 FIVB World Tour events together from April, 2009 through October, 2012, including two FIVB World Championships, a ninth-place finish in 2009 (Stavanger) and a 17th-place finish in 2011 (Rome), and a 19th-place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  During their four-year partnership, they had limited success with one silver medal in their first season together in the FIVB Marseille Grand Slam and five fifth-place finishes.  When Tsiartsiani missed all of 2013 because she was having a baby, Vicki chose another partner, but they reunited in June of this season.  Since their reunion, they had very little success, only qualifying for one of their first six events together, a 25th-place finish at the FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam in July.  So it was surprising to see the Greek pair make the semifinals at the FIVB Xiamen Open, only their second final four in their 55 FIVB World Tour events together.

•    First French Gold in 13 Years – The country of France had not won a gold medal on the FIVB World Tour since August of 1991 when Jean-Philippe Jodard/Christian Penigaud withstood three Brazilian teams in the semifinals to capture the only previous gold for France, at the Spanish Open in Almeria.  Fast forward 13 years, and Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson captured gold at the FIVB World Tour Xiamen Open in China, this time defeating a team from Spain, Christian Garcia/Francisco Alfredo Marco, 22-20, 19-21, and 15-12 in 57 minutes.  Krou, who is playing his first season on the FIVB World Tour, improved his previous best of 17th-place at the previous FIVB World Tour event, the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.  Rowlandson, who is playing his second FIVB World Tour season, improved on a previous-best ninth-place finish with Andy Ces at last season’s FIVB World Tour Durban Open in South Africa.  France also had not won an FIVB World Tour medal of any color since November of 2008 when Andy and Kevin Ces won bronze at the FIVB Bahrain Open in Manama.

•    Europe Sweeps the Men’s Podium – For the third time on the 2014 FIVB World Tour calendar, the European Confederation swept the podium, winning the men’s gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Xiamen Open.  France’s Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson won the gold, Spain’s Christian Garcia/Francisco Alfredo Marco took the silver, and Dmitri Barsouk/Nikita Liamin of Russia captured the bronze.  Previously this season, Europe had all three podium placements at the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam in May (Italy gold, Latvia silver, Germany bronze) and the FIVB Anapa Open in June (Latvia gold, Russia silver, Switzerland bronze). This is only the seventh time that Europe has accomplished the feat at an FIVB World Tour event.  Besides the three times this season, Europe also did it one time in each of 2004 (Rio de Janeiro), 2007 (Zagreb, Croatia), 2009 (Åland, Finland), and 2013 (Anapa, Russia).

•    Turkey and Greece Finish Fifth – At the last FIVB World Tour event before last week’s China event, the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam, Turkey had its country’s best FIVB World Tour finish ever of seventh place.  This week at the FIVB Xiamen Open, Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe surpassed that feat by finishing fifth, improving Turkey’s best-ever finish for the second consecutive event.  Not to be outdone by the Turks, Georgios Kotsilianos/Nikos Zoupanis of Greece also finished fifth, matching their country’s all-time best FIVB World Tour men’s finish from last season’s FIVB World Tour Xiamen Grand Slam.  Last season Kotsilianos/Zoupanis came through the qualifying tournament and just missed the semifinals as the 28th-seeded team in the main draw, losing to the eventual silver medalists.  This time they were seeded fourth and lost a heartbreaker in the round of eight, 20-22, 24-22, and 16-18 to the eventual bronze medalists.  Before the two Xiamen events, Greece previously had a best men’s finish of ninth-place, on their home soil at the Athens Open in September of 2005.

•    Belarus and Israel Match Their Country’s Best Finish – Besides France, Turkey, and Greece matching or improving their country’s best finish, two smaller countries, Belarus and Israel also matched their all-time best finish.  Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Aliaksandr Kavalenka of Belarus finished in ninth place, matching their finish at the FIVB World Tour Anapa Open in Russia this past May-June.  Previously the European nation had two FIVB World Tour 25th-place finishes, one in 2012 (FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam) and one in 2008 (FIVB Mallorca Open).  Another European nation, Israel, also matched that country’s previous FIVB World Tour best of 17th, achieved at the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open this past May.  The 19th-seeded team of Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman is the only men’s pair from Israel to play in the main draw of an FIVB World Tour event.  Xiamen’s 17th-place finish was the third main draw for the pair, going along with their 17th in Puerto Vallarta and a 25th-place finish at last season’s FIVB Anapa Open in Russia.

With the grand slam portion of the 2014 FIVB World Tour complete, the tour continues through December with four FIVB Open events spread across the globe. Remaining on the 2014 calendar are three double-gender FIVB Open events along with one men-only FIVB Open tournament.

Next up, the 2014 FIVB World Tour will travel to Argentina for the double-gender FIVB Parana Open (Oct. 28-Nov. 2).

After that events, the 2014 FIVB World Tour will head to Qatar for the men-only FIVB Doha Open (Nov. 4-8) then on to India for the double-gender FIVB Chennai Open (Nov. 25-30) before concluding in South Africa with the double-gender FIVB Mangaung Open (Dec. 9-14).

Based in Lausnne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar features a record purse of US$10.2 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 21 venues in 18 countries.  This year’s FIVB World Tour includes a record 10 FIVB Grand Slam events and nine FIVB Open tournaments throughout the world, helping expand the door for development of the sport even further. The FIVB Grand Slam competitions, all double-gender, have eight with $800,000 in total purses while both The Hague, Netherlands and the Long Beach, Calif., USA event had $1 million each in prize money, the most in FIVB Grand Slam history.

The nine FIVB Open tournaments in 2014, seven double-gender events, one men’s only event and one women only event, will have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.

As part of the initiatives of FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° and his leadership team, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball international calendar also included a record four age-group FIVB World Championships and the 2014 Nanjing (China) Youth Olympic Games Aug. 17-27).

Poland’s Maciej Kosiak/Maciej Rudol won the men’s gold medal for the home country and Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Nicole Laird capturing the women’s gold medal for the second annual U23 in Myslowice, Poland. Capturing the gold medals in the inaugural U17 World Championships in Acapulco, Mexico were Switzerland’s Florian Breer/Yves Haussener and USA’s Morgan Martin/Kathryn Plummer. Winning the 14th U21 championships in Larnaka, Cyprus were Poland’s Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak  and Canada’s Sophie Bukovec/Tiadora Miric. The 13th U19 World Championships in Porto Portugal were won by Brazil’s Arthur Mariano/George Wanderley for the men and in the women’s competition the winners were Brazil’s Andressa Cavalanti/Eduarda Lisboa.

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