FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Moscow Grand Slam 2016 | 24 - 29 May 2016

#MoscowGS


Press release

Moscow Grand Slam features Olympic flair


Celebrating their 2015 Moscow Grand Slam gold medals were (left to right) Pablo Herrera, Talita Antunes, Larissa Franca and Adrian Gavira.

Moscow, Russia, May 23, 2016 - For the ninth-straight season on the FIVB World Tour, the Russian capital will host the planet’s best Beach Volleyball players as the 2015-2016 season’s second “big” event starts here Tuesday with men’s and women’s qualifying competition.

All the leading candidates for berths in the Rio Olympics are participating this week, including defending Moscow Grand Slam champions Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain and Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca.  Both pairs defeated Rio-bound tandems for the 2015 Moscow gold medals.

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Women - Entry List
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Women - Event Schedule

With competition being held on four courts at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Centre, which is a 20-minute subway ride from iconic Red Square in the center of city that hosted the 1980 Olympic Games, the Moscow Grand Slam is the next to last qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Summer Games where the top 15 pairs from the FIVB World Tour will advance to the Copacabana quadrennial August 6-18.

A total of 104 pairs from 32 countries are currently on the entry list for the Moscow Grand Slam where eight teams each from the men’s and women’s qualifiers will advance to Wednesday’s opening “money” rounds in the US$800,000 event.   Pool play will be featured both Wednesday and Thursday with elimination matches Friday and Saturday to set the lineup for Sunday’s medal matches.


The host country will have three men’s and five women’s pairs competing Tuesday in the qualifier as Russia has already placed three men’s and four women’s teams in the Main Draw led by Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Konstantin Semenov, who captured the 2014 Moscow Grand Slam.

Other Russian men’s teams in the Main Draw are Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin and Dmitri Barsouk/Nikita Liamin.  Competing in the men’s qualifier will be Yaroslav Koshkarev/Ruslan Bykanov, Yury Bogatov/Maksim Hudyakov and Maxim Sivolap/Igor Velichko.

Already entered for Russia in the women’s “money rounds” will be Evgenia Ukolova/Ekaterina Birlova, Yulia Abalakina/Ekaterina Syrtseva and Olga Motrich/Nadezda Makroguzova.  Russia women’s pairs attempting to qualify Tuesday will be Anastasia Barsuk/Alexandra Moiseeva, Daria Rudykh/Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya, Ksenia Dabizha/Maria Sviridova, Svetlana Kholomina/Olga Kozhadey and Daria Mastikova/Elizaveta Novikova.

With the Moscow Grand Slam being the 27th women’s and 29th men’s qualifying event for the Rio Olympics, the gold medal winners will each share the $57,000 first-place prizes along with adding to their Olympic ranking total.  While Talita and Larissa are currently the top-ranked team on the women’s qualifying list with 6,940 points, Gavira and Herrera are No. 6 among non-Brazilian pairs on the men’s register with 5,080 points for their best 12 finishes since August 2015 on the FIVB World Tour.


All four Brazilian pairs that were named last September to represent their South American country in the Olympic Beach Volleyball competition at the Rio Summer Games will be competing this week, including reigning FIVB world champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas.  The fourth Brazilian pair for Copacabana competition will be Evandro Gonçalves/Pedro Solberg.

Both Alison/Bruno and Evandro/Pedro advanced to the Moscow Grand Slam “final four” last May where pairs placed fourth and second, respectively.  Gavira and Herrera path to their first-ever FIVB World Tour gold medal together started with a semi-final win over Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik of Germany followed by a title victory over Evandro and Pedro.  The Germans defeated Alison/Bruno for the bronze medal.  Gavira and Herrera recorded their second gold medal together last month at the Xiamen Open in China.



While Agatha and Barbara placed ninth in Moscow last May, Talita and Larissa’s climb to the top podium spot started with a semi-final over Fan Wang/Yuan Yue of China followed by a gold medal triumph over Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands.  The title was the first of seven gold medals won by Talita and Larissa last season.  In their two appearances this season in mid-March in Brazil, Talita and Larissa placed ninth at the Rio Grand Slam and first in the Vitoria Open.

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