FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio de Janeiro Open | 2 - 6 September 2015

#RioOpen


Press release

Aussies’ long trip already profitable


Bo Soderberg (left) prepares for the Mikasa pass from Aussie made Cole Durant during a Rio Open qualifying match Wednesday against Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 2, 2015 - Traveling more than 8,000 miles to play one match was not in the “plan” for Cole Durant and Bo Soderberg as the Australians posted a three-set win over a home-standing team from Brazil here Wednesday to lead eight teams into the next rounds of competition in the US$150,000 Rio Open.

Seeded ninth in the 23-team men’s qualification tournament, Durant and Soderberg had to play only one match Wednesday and defeated Marcio Guadie and Marcus Oliveira 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-9) in 46 minutes to eliminate the eighth-seeded Brazilians from the competition.

The Aussies joined Austrians Christoph Dressler/Thomas Kunert and Grant O'Gorman/Sam Pedlow of Canada as the foreign teams advancing from the qualifier to the Main Draw.  Seeded fourth in the Rio qualifier, Dressler and Kunert posted a 2-0 (21-19, 23-21) win in 39 minutes over 13th-seeded Leonardo Gomes and Averaldo Pereira of Brazil.  The sixth-seeded O’Gorman and Pedlow advanced with a 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-12) victory in 45 minutes over 11th-seeded Oscar Brandao/Thiago Santos Barbosa of Brazil.

With the FIVB World Tour crossing the equator for the first-time this season after playing events for five months in Asia, Europe and North American, the Rio Open is being played on the site where the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be played next August on iconic Copacabana beach.

The 12th men’s stop on the 2015 international calendar, the Rio Open is serving as a “test” event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where this week’s competition features four days of Main Draw action starting Thursday and concluding with the medal matches Sunday.  The winning pairs in both genders will share the $11,000 first-place prizes.

Brazilian pairs earning Main Draw spots Wednesday were third-seeded Saymon Barbosa/Gustavo Carvalhaes, fifth-seeded Bruno de Paula/Hevaldo Moreira, 10th-seeded Marcio Araujo/Luciano Ferreira, 15th-seeded Ramon Ferreira/Lipe Rodrigues and 16th-seeded Marcus Carvalhaes/Daniel Lustosa.

Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt will be the featured host country team in the Rio Open Main Draw where the reigning world champions are also joined in the competition by Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha/Allison Francioni.

Alison and Bruno will be seeking their sixth-straight FIVB World Tour gold medal finish as the Brazilians started their string of consecutive podium-topping finishes by winning the world championships at the start of July in The Hague followed by titles in Switzerland (Gstaad), Japan (Yokohama), the United States (Long Beach) and this past weekend in Poland (Olsztyn).

The Rio Open, which features 42 women’s and 39 men’s teams from 20 countries, is the first FIVB World Tour event to be played on Copacabana beach since 2004 when European pairs from Germany and Switzerland filled the top three men’s podium places while the Brazilian women captured all three medals in the late September tournament that season-ending international event.

The first FIVB-sanctioned event was played in Rio when a men’s event was held in 1987 on Ipanema beach.  In total, the men’s FIVB World Tour has staged 14 events in Rio with the women playing seven times starting in February 1993.  Copacabana was also the site of the 2005 FIVB under-21 World Championships.

Following the Rio Open, the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for a stop in Russia (Sochi, September 8-13) before taking a week off before visiting China (Xiamen, September 22-27) for the second-time in 2015.  The “elite” players on the international circuit will be featured September 29-October 4 at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


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