FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Fortaleza Open 2016 | 26 April - 1 May 2016

#FortalezaOpen


Press release

FIVB World Tour returns to Brazil for FIVB Fortaleza Open


Brazil's reigning FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk and Agatha Seixas will be leading the women's field as the top-seeded team as the FIVB World Tour returns to Brazil for the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open that will run through Sunday.

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 24, 2016 — Following the fourth of eight straight weeks of events including three in Asia, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) has returned to Brazil to continue the qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

The string of eight consecutive events continues in Brazil on Monday with the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open. It is the fifth tournament in the stretch of eight straight events. Next week the FIVB World Tour visits Europe for the first time this season, playing the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Sochi Open in Russia.

Playing in Brazil for the fourth time this year following last week’s FIVB Fuzhou Open in China, there are 34 men’s teams from 16 countries and 28 women’s teams from 12 countries in Brazil for the FIVB Fortaleza Open. A regular venue for Brazil’s domestic tour, this is the 11th time that Fortaleza has hosted a double-gender FIVB World Tour event and first time since their last event was held there in 2007.

The double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open starts Monday and concludes on Sunday. It is the 11th men’s event of the season and eighth women’s event on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started with three events at the end of 2015. The FIVB Fortaleza Open will be played at the purpose built stadium at Praid do Futuro in Fortaleza.

FORTALEZA SCHEDULE
The FIVB Fortaleza Open is a double-gender event with 32 main draw teams per gender. The format is the same for each gender with the schedule having the men start a day earlier and both genders finish on Sunday. For the men, a qualification tournament on Tuesday will be held to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team main draw for each gender followed by two days of round robin pool play. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds.

On Saturday, the quarterfinals and semifinals for both genders will be played. The medal matches for both genders will all be played on Sunday with the awarding ceremony following the last gold medal match concluding the event.

For the men, their qualification tournament will be held on Tuesday, followed by pool play on Wednesday and Thursday. Men will also play their first elimination round on Thursday. On Friday the men will play their final single elimination round.

For the women, their qualification tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, followed by pool play on Thursday and Friday along with the first two single-elimination rounds on Friday.

As needed, country quota playoff matches will be played on Monday for men and Tuesday for women to determine the final teams in their respective qualification tournaments.

BRAZIL’S FIVB HISTORY
Overall, counting three events so far this year, Brazil has hosted 75 total previous FIVB World Tour events, at least one has been held every season that the FIVB has played beach volleyball. Rio de Janeiro has hosted 25 total events, including the 1999 World Championships. Fortaleza and Vitória  have each hosted 10 total events, followed by Brasília with eight total events and Salvador with seven.  There have been 40 total men’s events and 35 total women’s events in Brazil. This will be the sixth men’s FIVB World Tour event in Fortaleza and the fourth women’s FIVB World Tour stop in Fortaleza.

In the medal count for events held in the South American country, Brazil is far ahead in both genders. For the men, Brazil has 67 total medals followed by the United States with 25, Switzerland 6, Germany 5, Argentina 4, Netherlands 3, Poland 3, Canada 2, Latvia 2, China 1, Cuba 1, Italy 1 and Norway 1.

In women’s medals for FIVB events held in Brazil, Brazil tops the chart with 59 followed again by the USA with 30, Germany 5, Australia 3, Netherlands 3, Italy 2, China 1, Japan 1, Germany 1 and Poland 1.

WELCOME TO FORTALEZA
Fortaleza (Portuguese for Fortress) is in the Northeast Region of Brazil and it is the state capital of Ceará state. With a population close to 2.55 million (metropolitan region over 3.6 million), Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in Brazil.

To the north of the city lies the Atlantic Ocean; to the south are the municipalities of Pactuba, Eusebio, Maracanau and Itaitinga, to the east is the municipality of Aquiraz and the Atlantic Ocean and to the west is the municipality of Caucaia. Residents of the city are known as Fortalezenses. Fortaleza is one of the three leading cities in the Northeast region together with Recife and Salvador.

The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, Fortaleza was one of the host cities of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

TOP SEEDS
Olympians and hopeful Olympans abound as many of the world’s best beach volleyball teams are entered in this week’s FIVB Fortaleza Open.

The top-seeded preliminary men’s teams for the FIVB Fortaleza Open are Brazil’s top-seeded 2016 Olympians Pedro Solberg/Evandro Goncalves, USA’s second-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Mexico’s third-seeded Juan Virgen/Lombardo Ontiveros, Canada’s fourth-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter and Brazil’s fifth-seeded Alvaro Filho/Vitor Felipe.

The second-five preliminary men’s pre-seeds competing in FIVB Fortaleza Open are Germany’s sixth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matsik, Chile’s seventh-seeded cousins Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt, Canada’s eighth-seeded Sam Pedlow/Grant O’Gorman, Venezuela’s ninth-seeded Jesus Villafane/Jackson Henriquez and Austria’s 10th-seeded Thomas Kunert/Christoph Dressler.

For the FIVB Fortaleza Open, the top preliminary pre-seeded women’s teams are Brazil’s top-seeded reigning FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Germany’s second-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Netherlands’ third-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Brazil’s fourth-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima, Brazil’s fifth-seeded Maria Antonelli/Liliane Maestrini.

The second-five preliminary pre-seeded women’s team competing in Fortaleza are Vanuatu’s sixth-seeded Linline Matauatu/Miller Pata, China’s seventh-seeded Chen Xue/Xinyi Xia, Germany’s eighth-seeded Victoria Bieneck/Julia Grossner, Venezuela’s ninth-seeded Olaya Pazo/Norisbeth Agudo and USA’s 10th-seeded Brittany Hochevar/Jennifer Fopma.

FIVB FORTALEZA OPEN PURSE/POINTS
The gold medal teams at the FIVB Fortaleza Open will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 400 points and fourth place $4,500 and 450 points.

TEAM BRAZIL
As the host nation for the FIVB Fortaleza Open, Brazil has four men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw this event and as many as five teams in the qualification tournament. Brazil’s men’s main draw teams are top-seeded Solberg/Goncalves, fifth-seeded Filho/Felipe, 11th-seeded Ricardo Santos/Allison Francioni and a to-be-named wild card team as 24th-seeded.

Entered in the men’s qualification tournament from Brazil are four additional to-be-named teams.

As the host nation for the FIVB Fortaleza Open, Brazil has three women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw for this event along with an additional five to-be-named teams. Brazil’s confirmed women’s main draw teams are top-seeded Bednarczuk/Seixas, fourth-seeded Juliana/Maestrini and fifth-seeded Antonelli/Lima.

At this time there is no women’s qualification tournament scheduled for this event.

ON THE HORIZON
With placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continuing, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has resumed with events over eight straight weeks through the end of May. In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio and Vitoria, this week’s FIVB Fortaleza Open (April 26-May 1) and the Brazil events conclude with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

The FIVB World Tour heads to Europe FIVB Fortaleza Open. Up first will be in Russia for the FIVB Sochi Open (May 3-8) followed by the FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (May 11-15). The tour then visits the United States for the FIVB Cincinnati Open (May 17-22) and then returns to Russia for the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam (May 24-29).

GROWING HISTORY
The FIVB Fortaleza Open in Brazil will be the 339th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 300th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

FIVB 2016
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar featured a purse of US$8.8 million with a season that extended from last October to this October, competing at 23 venues in 13 countries. The schedule includes five FIVB Grand Slams, three Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 14 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).

The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.

ROAD TO RIO
The Olympic qualification process began in 2015 with all FIVB World Tour events (except the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 up until June 13, 2016 counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Copacabana Beach in Brazil in August. Counting the FIVB Xiamen Open, nine men’s and eight women’s events remain on the Olympic qualifying calendar for the FIVB World Tour.

FIVB WORLD TOUR PURSES
The five FIVB Grand Slam and three Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions in 2016, all double-gender, each have $800,000 in total purses. The total of $500,000 will be the purse for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams in each gender and two wild card teams.

The 14 FIVB Open tournaments on 2016 calendar, 11 double-gender, and three men’s only, have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.

The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series events split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Open tournaments each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.

FIVB EVENT FORMAT
Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.

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