FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Xiamen Open | 7 - 12 October 2014


Press release

Talking Stats: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Oct 1

Brazil's living legends Ricardo Santos, left, and Emanuel Rego have reunited after a five-year absence and with a combined age of 81 years roared to the silver medal in front of home-country fans at last week's FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam.

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 1, 2014 — With only a week-long break to savor, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) pauses to look back on some of the significant stats from last week’s double-gender US$800,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam in Brazil.

The last of 10 FIVB Grand Slams that were part of the 2014 US$10.2 million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the tour resumes with five remaining double-gender FIVB Opens, four are double-gender, one is men only. First up on the final portion of the 2014 schedule will be next week at the FIVB Xiamen Open, the third visit to China this season for the FIVB World Tour.

With 13 men’s events and 14 women’s tournaments now completed, here are some tantalizing tidbits from the 2014 FIVB World Tour that are part of the appetizers of today’s treats to whet your whistle on the FIVB Beach Volleyball international menu of global gastronomical cuisine:

•    Larissa/Talita Continue Gold Medal Streak – When Brazil’s legendary beach volleyball player Larissa Franca came out of retirement earlier this season and partnered with 2013 FIVB World Tour point Champion Talita Antunes, great things were expected.  However, no one probably expected them to finish the 2014 FIVB Grand Slam calendar with three consecutive gold medals in Klagenfurt, Stare Jablonki, and São Paulo, especially after ninth-place finishes in each of their first two events in The Hague and Long Beach.  Larissa, who now ranks send all-time with 49 career FIVB World Tour victories, hadn’t won three straight FIVB World Tour events since July of 2010 when she and Juliana Felisberta won five straight in Stavanger, Gstaad, Klagenfurt, Stare Jablonki, and Kristiansand.  Larissa and Juliana skipped one FIVB World Tour event during their streak, in Marseille, that was won by her new partner Talita with Maria Antonelli.  Talita, who won an FIVB World Tour-high five events in 2013 on the way to winning the tour point championship with Maria Antonelli, had never won three consecutive events in her 21 career gold medals.

•    Always Silver and Never Gold – The Italian women must feel like they’re “always bridesmaids and never brides” after losing another FIVB World Tour gold-medal match.  For the fifth time, all since 2010, an Italian women’s team reached an FIVB World Tour gold medal match, and all five times they’ve been silver medalists instead.  One-half of the latest “bridesmaids,” Marta Menegatti has been involved in all four of the previous defeats with former partner Greta Cicolari at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam in August of 2012, the Beijing Grand Slam in May of 2012, and the Myslowice Open in May of 2011, and with Valeria Rosso at the Phuket Open in November of 2010.  For Marta and her new partner, Viktoria Orsi Toth, this was their best FIVB World Tour finish after their three previous final fours in their 16 events together all resulted in fourth-place finishes, including one in last season’s São Paulo Grand Slam.  The duo also won the silver medal at the 2010 FIVB U21 World Championships in Alanya, Turkey.

•    Another fifth place finish for Canada – Canada’s women’s teams have only one final four finish all-time on the FIVB World Tour.  That was over ten years ago when Guylaine Dumont/Annie Martin finished fourth at the FIVB Stavanger Open in July of 2004.  The North American nation appears ready to break into the semifinals again after a fifth-place finish for the fourth time in 2014.  Using inspiration from their bronze-medal finish in the FIVB U23 World Championships in June, Melissa Humana-Paredes/Taylor Pischke became the second Canadian women’s team to finish fifth in an FIVB World Tour event this season.  Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan had the first three at the Prague Open in May, the Gstaad Grand Slam in July, and the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam in August.  

•    April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings Perfect in Pool Play – In a season with a record number of grand slams, it only makes sense that a team would set a record for being perfect in grand slam pool play.  Skipping only the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam, April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States won their pool for the ninth time with an unblemished record at the São Paulo Grand Slam, completing the grand slam season with a perfect 27-0 record in pool play.  April and Kerri, who also went 3-0 in pool play at the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open in China, advanced directly into the second round of all ten elimination rounds on the way to four FIVB World Tour gold medals in 2014 with a unblemished 30-0 pool play record.  Along the way the American duo only had three matches that required a third set, defeating Australia’s Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, 21-9, 16-21, and 15-9 in Shanghai, Brazil’s Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Salgado, 27-25, 20-22, and 15-10 in Gstaad, and Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan of Canada, 21-15, 22-24, and 17-15 in The Hague.

•    Reinder Nummerdor Strikes Gold – In the two years following his fourth-place finish with Richard Schuil at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Reinder Nummerdor had struggled to find top five finishes.  Invigorated with a new, youthful, 24-year old partner, Christiaan Varenhorst, who started 2014 with a bronze medal with Jon Stiekema at the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open, the Dutch duo finished fifth in the previous FIVB Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki.  Continuing with their new-found success, the pair won the gold medal at the CEV European Baku Masters in Azerbaijan earlier this month to propel them to a gold medal at the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.  It was the first FIVB World Tour medal fpr Varenhorst and the first  for the 38-year old Nummerdor since winning gold with Richard Schuil at the FIVB Klagenfurt Grand Slam in July of 2012.

•    We Are Legend – It had been over five years since Brazil’s beach volleyball legends Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos had played together in an FIVB World Tour event.  The duo had been a staple on the FIVB World Tour, playing in 88 events from September 2002 through September of 2009, winning 33 gold, 12 silver, and 12 bronze medals together, including a World Championship in 2003 (Rio de Janeiro) and Olympic gold in 2004 (Athens) and bronze in 2008 (Beijing) along with five consecutive FIVB World Tour point championships from 2003 through 2007.  Emanuel and Ricardo rank 1st and 2nd, respectively, in FIVB-career tournaments (245 and 208), gold medals (77 and 56), and earnings (US$2,500,272.50 and US$1,818,282.50).  So even though their combined ages are now 81 years, 2 months, and 5 days, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that they would make the finals in their “reunion” event in their home country.  Despite losing the gold medal match, they became the oldest combined-age men’s team to make the finals of an FIVB World Tour event, eclipsing their countrymen Marcio Araujo/Benjamin Insfran, who won the Åland Open in 2011, by almost four years. It’s now 89 FIVB World Tour events for the iconic duo and 13 silver medals.

•    Oh, Canada – Canadian men’s teams haven’t had a lot of success on the FIVB World Tour in 2014.  Their highest finish was ninth place in six different events.  They’re hoping that the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam was a “breakthrough” of sorts for the North American nation with a fourth and a fifth place finish by London 2012 Olympian Josh Binstock and his new partner Sam Schachter along with Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, respectively.  A Canadian men’s team hadn’t had a final four appearance since the FIVB Hellas Open in June of 2003 when three-time Olympians and 1996 bronze medalists John Child/Mark Heese finished fourth.  It was only the fifth time that Canada has had two men’s teams with fifth place or better finishes in a FIVB World Tour event.  Canada achieved that feat two times in 1997 and two times in 2002.

•    Turkey has its Best Finish Ever – Turkey is a relative newcomer to the FIVB World Tour with teams participating in only 29 events, 26 of which have come since 2010.  The country has never entered a women’s team, and it’s been a gradual building process for their men’s teams with best finishes of ninth and 17th in the past two seasons, respectively and an overall best finish of seventh place by Volkan Gogtepe/Selcuk Sekerci in the FIVB Åland Open in August of 2011.  At the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam, Turkey enjoyed their best FIVB World Tour finish ever with Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe coming through the qualifying tournament and finishing in fifth place as the 26th-seeded team in the tournament.  After having only one victory in pool play, the Turks defeated Brazilians Gustavo Carvalhaes/Allison Cittadin in the elimination round of 24 before surprising fifth-seeded Americans Tri Bourne/John Hyden in the round of 16 to advance to the quarterfinals where they lost to eventual gold medalists Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst to end their run.

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

Next up, the 2014 FIVB World Tour will travel to China for the double-gender FIVB Xiamen Open (Oct. 7-12), followed by the double-gender FIVB Parana Open (Oct. 28-Nov. 2).

After those two 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, the inaugural Grand Slam Finale 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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