FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Olsztyn Grand Slam | 14 - 19 June 2016


Press release

Poland Primed for Polish Podium

Polish pride on Copacabana in mid-March where (left to right) for Piotr Kantor, Kinga Kolosinska, Monika Brzostek and Bartosz Losiak captured medals at the Rio Grand Slam.

Olsztyn, Poland, June 16, 2016 - Sporting the top-ranked team on the FIVB World Tour along with qualifying two pairs for the Olympic Beach Volleyball competition this August on Copacabana, will this be the year that Poland places a due atop the podium at a Polish stop on the international circuit?

When the US$800,000 Olsztyn Grand Slam opened play here Tuesday, it marked the 13th-time that the European nation has staged a FIVB World Tour stop and only once in the previous 12 events has a Polish men’s team reached the podium when Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel captured the silver medal in 2011 in Stare Jablonki

But the 2016 Olsztyn Grand Slam could be different as Fijalek and Prudel have earned their second-straight trip to the Olympics and will be joined in the Copacabana quadrennial by Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak, the No. 1-ranked team on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour.
Grzegorz Fijalek (left) and Mariusz Prudel of Poland

Host Poland will also have three other teams in the men’s Main Draw when pool play begins Thursday in the Olsztyn Grand Slam where Kantor and Losiak finished fifth last season in the inaugural event while Fijalek and Prudel placed ninth.  Kantor and Losiak are seeded first this week in the 32-team Olsztyn Main Draw with Fijalek and Prudel 10th.

Also in the Olsztyn “money” rounds for Poland are 15th-seeded Michal Kadziola/Jakub Szalankiewicz, 20th-seeded Maciej Kosiak/Maciej Rudol and 24th-seeded Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak as the five Polish pairs have combined for a 131-67 FIVB World Tour match mark this season (60.1 winning percentage) entering Thursday’s play.

Led by Kantor and Losiak, the five Polish teams have combined to capture one gold medal this season also four podium placements, six “final four” appearances, 19 quarter-final placements and 33 top ninths to their credit in 44 total events on the FIVB World Tour. 

Despite the successes on the sand this season, Poland’s only one gold medal was Kantor and Losiak’s podium-topping performance in mid-March at the Rio Grand Slam where the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be staged on Copacabana August 6-18.  It was Poland’s second-ever FIVB World Tour gold medal as Fijalek and Prudel won the first title at the 2014 international stop in The Hague.

Kantor and Losiak’s Copacabana finish was impressive as the Polish pair defeated four Olympic-qualified teams enroute to the gold medal that was highlighted by a 2-0 (21-19, 23-21) podium-topping win in 45 minutes over hometown favorites Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg of Brazil.  To reach the finals on Copacabana, Kantor and Losiak posted a 2-0 (21-17, 23-21) semi-final win in 42 minutes over Fijalek and Prudel.

To qualify for the semi-finals at the Rio Grand Slam, Kantor and Losiak led throughout in defeating Americans Phil Dalhausser and Lucena 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) in a 44-minute quarter-final win.  After the match, the 36-year old Lucena said that “the Poles are a tough team for us to play.  They are young (both are 24), athletic, competitive and run a quick-setting game that is tough to defend.  They are a force to contend with on the world tour.”
Nick Lucena (left) at the Rio Grand Slam net in March against Piotr Kantor as their partners follow the action
And to add “frosting to the cake”, Poland will also have a women’s team in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska have qualified for Copacabana.  Winners of an Olsztyn Grand Slam bronze medal last season for Poland’s first-ever women’s podium placement on the FIVB World Tour, Brzostek and Kolosinska won their opening two pool play matches Wednesday.

Brzostek and Kolosinska almost matched Kantor and Losiak’s feat at the Rio Grand Slam in March as the pair placed second.  For the season, the Polish women’s pair has now won 17 of 32 FIVB World Tour matches with four top nine finishes.  Kolosinska is also returning to action this week after missing two events due to back problems.

Thursday’s Olsztyn Grand Slam schedule features 24 pool play matches for both men and women.  The Olsztyn Grand Slam will have elimination rounds for women Friday followed by Saturday’s “final four” matches.  The men’s eliminator will be Saturday followed by the medal matches Sunday.  The winning teams will share the $57,000 first-place prizes.

Quick links
Olsztyn Grand Slam homepage
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Homepage
Olsztyn Grand Slam women's entries
Olsztyn Grand Slam men's entries

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

20.06.2016 18:29:22
Video: Samoilovs/Smedins delight supporters with Olsztyn Grand Slam victory

Olsztyn, Poland, June 20, 2016 – Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins captured the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Olsztyn Grand Slam, wit... More...

20.06.2016 17:41:07
Video: Prudel picks to play with volleyball star Michal Kubiak in #QuickSets

Olsztyn, Poland, June 20, 2016 – Poland’s top stars Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek were fortunate to play in front of their home fans at the FIVB... More...

19.06.2016 17:34:48
Latvians “out-of-this-world” performance nets Olsztyn Grand Slam gold

Olsztyn, Poland, June 19, 2016 - On a glorious day on the Crooked Lake center court here Sunday at the US$800,000 Olsztyn Grand Slam, Beach Volleyball... More...

19.06.2016 13:19:09
Latvians seek to dethrone Brazilian world champions in Olsztyn

19.06.2016 08:53:31
Road to Olsztyn gold is through Brazil

18.06.2016 20:06:29
Brazil versus Latvia, USA for Olsztyn Grand Slam men’s gold

18.06.2016 18:34:53
No disputing it, Ludwig & Walkenhorst are the best in the world!

18.06.2016 09:58:09
Brazil vs. Germany gold medal women’s saga continues in Olsztyn Saturday

18.06.2016 08:15:47
Italians go wild with the GoPro

18.06.2016 06:17:28
Talita & Larissa seeking third-straight Polish gold medal

17.06.2016 19:59:09
Brazil & Slovak Republic women’s pairs post “surprising” Olsztyn recovery

17.06.2016 17:31:30
Canadians P&O’G achieve first Grand Slam success

17.06.2016 16:12:41
Spaniards Gavira & Herrera “quietly” earn legendary Beach Volleyball status

16.06.2016 22:36:26
While men play pool, the women face elimination in Olsztyn

16.06.2016 18:51:36
Will the Brazilian slump end in Olsztyn?

16.06.2016 17:31:08
Laboureur & Sude bounce back from Olympic-qualifying disappointment

16.06.2016 11:09:26
Olsztyn, the city of beach volleyball and Copernicus

16.06.2016 09:51:10
Olsztyn Grand Slam preparation event for CEV Continental Cup

16.06.2016 06:37:56
Poland Primed for Polish Podium

15.06.2016 18:24:10
Brazil, Spain lead Olsztyn Grand Slam men’s qualifiers

15.06.2016 17:33:07
Kinga’s kinks working out

15.06.2016 11:36:18
Olsztyn this week for points, Stavanger next week for the Olympics?

14.06.2016 23:34:09
Can Ludwig & Walkenhorst remain on a roll?

14.06.2016 16:22:37
Czech Republic’s Kolocova & Kvapilova spoil Olsztyn qualifying perfection

13.06.2016 16:54:53
Olympic qualifying completed, but no time to catch your breath in Olsztyn

13.06.2016 16:31:51
FIVB World Tour returns to Poland for $800,000 FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam

31.03.2016 23:49:00
Olsztyn looks forward to Grand Slam with Olympic flavour

11.11.2015 14:46:48
Beach volleyball prepares for bumper season after 2015/2016 calendar unveiled