Press release

Men's pool play hot at FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championships


Guinea's Alhassane Sylla, left, goes up high at the Swatch net to block the Mikasa killed by Brazil's Leonardo Morais as Brazil defeated Guinea Wednesday at the FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus.

Larnaka, Cyprus, July 11, 2012—Braving the heat, humidity, blazing sunshine of a normal Mediterranean summer day while playing the first two of three main draw pool play matches Wednesday, the world’s best young men’s tandems are enjoying the Larnaka heated competition at the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championships, the 11th annual event for players under 19, which is being held through Saturday in a special purpose-built complex featuring the stadium center court at Finikoudes Beach.

With 32 teams divided into eight four-team pools, nine teams are 2-0 after the first day of pool play. Finishing undefeated after the first day of pool play were two teams from Poland along with one each from from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Lithuania, Norway and Russia. Admission to the event is free for the entire week at the Finikoudes complex. A total of 63 teams (32 men and 31 women) from 34 countries are in Cyprus at the 2012 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships. All but Canada lead their respective pools and Canada is second because of tie-breakers.

Round-robin pool play concludes on Thursday with two days of single-elimination bracket play on Friday and Saturday.  The semifinals will be played Saturday morning and the medal matches for each gender will be played on Saturday night under the lights and the stars of a Cyprus night on the Larnaka center court. The top three teams in each of the eight pools will advance to the single-elimination ‘knockout rounds’ on the weekend. The men will play one pool play match on Thursday while the women will play twice.

Undefeated so far in pool play after winning their first two matches Wednesday were: Brazil’s 10th-seeded Iago Christianes/Leonardo Morais, Canada’s seventh-seeded Lucas Coleman/Andrew Kocur, Germany’s fourth-seeded Max Betzien/Max-Jonas Karpa, Lithuania’s 22nd-seeded Gilbertas Kerpe/Arnas Rumsevicius, Norway’s second-seeded Bjarne Huus/Christian Sorum, Poland’s third-seeded Lukasz Kaczmarek/Sebastian Kaczmarek, Poland’s 24th-seeded Michael Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak and Russia’s fifth-seeded Viacheslav Kirienko/Dimitry Uraikin.

With the last three matches of the evening played under the lights of a packed Larnaka center court, ending the evening was a sterling match-up between Czech Republic’s 14th-seeded Ondrej Perusic/Tomas Vana and Poland’s third-seeded Lukasz Kaczmarek/Sebastian Kaczmarek.  Not related, the two Kaczmareks broke through in the second set to win in two sets, 23-21, 21-15 in 30 minutes.

After squeezing by in the first set that was tied at 15 different times before they won it with aggressive net play, the Polish team pulled away to win the second set and the match. Czech Republic’s Perusic/Vana finished their pool play a day early, ending with a 2-1 record in their group. The teams battled so closely in the first set it was surprising that this was the first time the two teams had ever met.

After staging three FIVB Challenger events (2006, 2007, 2008) Cyprus is again returning to the world stage as Larnaka, a popular tourist destination, is hosting the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championships for players under the age of 19. This year’s 11th annual double-gender event will be held Wednesday through Saturday in a special purpose-built complex featuring the stadium center court at Finikoudes Beach.

The medal matches for each gender will be held on Saturday evening at the Finikoudes center court. Competition will start at 9 a.m. with the last matches each day starting around 8 p.m.

Countries represented in Larnaka for the 11th anniversary of this event are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Niger, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United States.

The 2012 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Champions in each gender will be rewarded a “wild card” by the FIVB for a future FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour event during the final months of 2012 or during the 2013 season.

At last year’s FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships in Umag, Croatia, a pair of Polish teams, Lukasz Kaczmarek/Macjej Kosiak and Karolina Baran/Katarzyna Kociolek won their respective gold medals to help Poland increase their overall event-leading country medal count. Poland joins Germany (2003 in Pattaya, Thailand) as the only countries to capture the gold medal in both genders in the same year in the event’s first decade.

Poland’s 2011 women’s champions, Baran/Kociolek, are back to defend their title and Poland’s Lukasz Kaczmarek returns but his teammate this year will be Sebastian Kaczmarek (no relation). Overall, among the women’s field five teams and six other individuals return from last year’s field in Umag and for the men, one team and six other individual players from last year are in this year’s field in Larnaka.

After staging three FIVB Challenger events (2006, 2007, 2008) Cyprus has again returned to the world stage as Larnaka, a popular tourist destination, is hosting the 2012 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships for players under the age of 19. This year’s 11th annual double-gender event started Wednesday and will conclude Saturday i

Larnaka is a city of 72,000 located on the Southern Coast of Cyprus and third largest city in the island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Larnaka is the second largest commercial port on the island nation and a very important tourist destination.

More information is available on the event including live scoring from center court matches is available at www.fivb.org.


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