FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Fortaleza Open 2016 | 26 April - 1 May 2016

#FortalezaOpen


Press release

Brazil’s Thiago/Harley advance to FIVB Fortaleza Open main draw


Brazil's determined veteran champion Harley Marques and teammate Thiago Santos won their qualification match Tuesday to join seven other compatriots in the men's main draw at this week's double-gender FIVB Fortaleza Open in Brazil.

Fortaleza, Brazil, April 26, 2016 — Brazil’s veteran  beach volleyball duo of Thiago Santos/Harley Marques and advanced from their qualification match victory Tuesday over Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich/Gabriel Kissling to give the host country eight teams in the men’s main draw at this week’s double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open, marking the first time since 2007 that the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has played in Fortaleza, located in the Northeast section of the massive South American country.

The double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open started Tuesday 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 is being played at the purpose built stadium at Praia do Futuro in Fortaleza, site of last week’s season finale of the Brazilian National Tour.

QUICK LINKS
Fortaleza Open website
Main draw results - Men
Main draw results - Women

Brazil’s Thiago, 33, of Itaborai and Harley, 41, of Brasilia, held off the hungry young Swiss team, defeating Heidrich, 21 and Kissling, 23, in straight sets, 25-23, 21-14 in 44 minutes. It was the only qualification match needed to complete the men’s 32-team main draw.

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 was held to determine the final spot 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.

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 main draw will start with pool play on Thursday and Friday along with the first two single-elimination rounds on Friday. With 28 total teams entered here, the women will have no qualification tournament Wednesday as all 28 will compete in the women’s main draw starting Thursday.

Starting the fifth of eight straight weeks of events after three weeks 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 at the FIVB Fortaleza Open. A regular venue for Brazil’s domestic tour, this is the 11th time that Fortaleza has hosted a FIVB World Tour event and first time since 2007.

HARLEY COMMENTS
Following the match, Harley, who is in his 16th international season and playing in his 142nd FIVB World Tour event with 16 career FIVB gold medals, said, “The Swiss team is very tall, looks like they are more indoor players than beach volley ones. We had to use our skills to overcome their block. That was our first match at the tournament, and losing was not an option, otherwise we were out of it. So when I get into the court I felt once again butterflies on my stomach, which is a nice feeling, right? If you are not feeling that anymore, it is time to quit playing. I love to play on the FIVB World Tour so it is a great pleasure to be here!”

While Thiago, who is in his 11th international season, playing in his 59th FIVB World Tour event with a best of fourth in Brasilia (2010), Harley has played three previous seasons in FIVB events in Fortaleza. In 1997, Harley finished 15th with Denny’s Pavedos, fifth in 2002 with ‘Para’ and ninth in 2007 with Pedro Solberg.
 
TOP SEEDS
Olympians and hopeful Olympians abound as many of the world’s best beach volleyball teams are entered in this week’s FIVB Fortaleza Open.

The top-seeded 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 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 Brazil’s 10th-seeded Gustavo Carvalhaes/Saymon Santos.

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 eight teams in the men’s main draw. Brazil’s men’s main draw teams are top-seeded Solberg/Goncalves, fifth-seeded Filho/Felipe, 10th-seeded Guto/Saymon, 11th-seeded Ricardo Santos/Allison Francioni, 22nd-seeded Oscar Brandao/Andre Loyola, 25th-seeded Luciano de Paula, 30th-seeded George Wanderley/Joalisson Gomes and 31st-seeded qualifiers Thiago/Harley.

As the host nation for the FIVB Fortaleza Open, Brazil has eight women’s teams seeded into the main draw for this event. Brazil’s women’s main draw teams are top-seeded defending FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, fourth-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima, fifth-seeded Rebecca Silva/Liliane Maestrini, sixth-seeded Elize Secomandi/Eduarda Lisboa, 17th-seeded Carolina Horta/Ana Patricia Ramos, 19th-seeded Rachel Nunes/Angela Lavalle, 24th-seeded Josemari Alves/Vanilda Leao and 28th-seeded Andressa Ramalho/Taina Bigi.

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

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.

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 is the 340th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 301st FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

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