FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Fortaleza Open 2016 | 26 April - 1 May 2016

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Press release

Veteran champion Marcio Araujo saying ‘tchau’ at FIVB Fortaleza Open


Playing in his final FIVB World Tour in his hometown, Brazil's legendary Marcio Araujo reflects on a career well done and how special it is for him to be ending it at the FIVB Fortaleza Open.

Fortaleza, Brazil, April 27, 2016 — Marcio Araujo, one of the most popular Brazilian beach volleyball players of all time, is enjoying ending his storied career by playing in his hometown at the FIVB Fortaleza Open, being held through Sunday in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. 

Helping him enjoy his final international tournament is teammate Luciano Ferreira and the duo, which finished fourth in the Brazilian National Tour this year, won their opening main draw pool play match Wednesday.

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

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.

Marcio, 42, who was born in and continues to live in Fortaleza, and Ferreira, 31, who lives in Vila Velha, are playing in their fourth world tour event together and Marcio is playing in his 170th FIVB World Tour event. With another pool play game Wednesday afternoon and third guaranteed on Thursday, Marcio is ever-optimistic regarding his future off of the court. But Wednesday morning, Araujo started his farewell tour event well as he and Ferreira, seeded 25th in this tournament, upset Canada’s eighth-seeded Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow in three sets. The Brazilians dropped the first set 14-21 but came back to win the last two, 21-17 and 15-8 in a 47-minute match.

MARCIO REFLECTS
“This week, in my hometown, is something very special for me, my family and my friends. I wouldn’t want to say goodbye to a sport I love so much any place else but here in Fortaleza,” reflected Marcio following his team’s first win in his fifth FIVB World Tour event in Fortaleza.”

“Speaking about today’s first match, Marcio said, "The Canadians have a strong team as regulars on the FIVB World Tour.  Each team played better in each set, but I think the heat helped us, especially in the tie-break third set. I was having fun, without too much pressure, but trying to make a good show for the crowd. This is the last time, so let’s enjoy it. Playing at home with my family watching, representing the state of Ceará, the municipality of Fortaleza and Brazil, is wonderful. After this tournament, my plan is to work in sports programs here in Fortaleza."

"Beach volleyball changed my life. Through it I had the opportunity to experience different cultures, visit many other countries, places that I only went to because I am a world class athlete. I've met many amazing people. It made me stronger psychologically. Another important aspect are the achievements in my personal life, like being from Fortaleza, without big expectations, yet years later I was in the Olympics and then a beach volleyball world champion and finally a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics. I have lived a dream and I am forever grateful."

MARCIO STATS
Also wonderful is the legacy Marcio leaves behind as the first generation of stars in this sport gradually ride off into the sunset. Playing his 170th career FIVB World Tour event this week, Marcio has accumulated 69 final four finishes with 20 gold medals, 19 silver, 16 bronze and 14 fourth place finishes. Marcio is also a two-time Olympian, finishing ninth in Athens in 2004 with Benjamin Insfran and won the silver medal in Beijing in 2008 with Fabio Luiz Magalhaes.

While Brazil has many, many legendary stars in the sand, Marcio is not only one of them, he also won all of his FIVB gold medals with other legends of the sport-Benjamin, Fabio and Ricardo Santos. Marcio won eight gold medals with Benjamin, 11 with Fabio and his last one in 2011 with Ricardo in Stavenger, Norway. In 2011, Marcio also won the silver medal with Ricardo at the FIVB World Championships in Rome.

With over $1 million in FIVB career earnings, Marcio was voted the FIVB Best Defensive Player in 2006 and the FIVB Best Setter three times (2006, 2007, 2008).

On the prominent and popular Brazilian National Tour, Marcio was a three-time season champion with three different partners (2000 with Benjamin, 2005 with Fabio and 2013-14 season with Ricardo).  In all on the Brazilian National Tour, Marcio earned 42 career gold medals, 40 silver medals and 27 bronze medals.

MARCIO LEGACY
In 2005, Araujo formed a new partnership with Fabio and in their first event together the duo went undefeated through the country qualifier, the qualifier and the main draw without losing a single set in winning the gold medal in Zagreb, Croatia. In their next two events they won a bronze and then a gold in the FIVB World Championships in Berlin after dropping their first match and winning nine straight matches.

In 2002, Marcio set an FIVB single-tournament record as he and Benjamin won 12 straight matches starting in the qualifying tournament to eventually capture the gold medal in Gstaad, Switzerland.

FORTALEZA SCHEDULE
The FIVB Fortaleza Open is a double-gender event with 31 main draw teams for men and 28 for women. For the men, a qualification tournament on Tuesday was held to determine the final spot in the main draw 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. Women begin their pool play on Thursday and conclude on Friday.

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.

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