Larnaka, Cyprus, July 12, 2012— Escaping from elimination Thursday after playing the last of three pool play matches, 24 of the world’s best young men’s best teams representing 22 countries have moved forward to the start of Friday’s single-elimination rounds on the sun-baked Larnaka sand at the 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 on the shores of the glistening waters of the peaceful Mediterranean Sea.
After playing the last of three pool play matches Thursday, the field of 32 men’s teams in the double-gender event was pared to 24 for Friday’s first round, round of 16 and quarterfinals in the evening session. The semifinals will be held Saturday morning and the medal matches are scheduled for Saturday evening under the Cyprus stars in each gender with the women’s gold medal match at 7 p.m. followed at 8 p.m. for the men’s gold medal match.
Host country Cyprus and Poland advanced two teams each to the men’s single elimination bracket play while the countries with single tandems advancing were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Peru, Russia, Spain, Thailand and the United States.
With 32 teams divided into eight four-team pools, eight teams were 3-0 to win their respective pools. The top three teams in each of the eight pools advances to the single-elimination ‘knockout rounds’ on Friday and Saturday. 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.
Undefeated with 3-0 records to win their respective pools in the round-round pool play were: Brazil’s 10th-seeded Iago Christianes/Leonardo Morais, 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.
Each of those undefeated teams received the top eight placement positions on the bracket for the single-elimination portion of the championships that starts Friday morning at 9 a.m. at the Finikoudes Beach complex.
Six of the eight unbeaten teams in pool play also were perfect within their matches with unblemished 6-0 set records as well—Brazil’s Christianes/Morais, Lithuania’s Kerpe/Rumsevicius, Norway’s Huus/Sorum, both Poland’s Lukasz Kaczmarek/Sebastian Kaczmarek and Bryl/Kujawaik along with Russia’s Kirienko/Uraikin.
Both with 1-2 records and seeds based on being the host country of the event, the two Cyprus teams who advanced to the elimination phase were top-seeded Krill Rudenko/Konstantinos Yiannakkos and sixth-seeded Minos Agathakleoous/Michail Panagiotis.
In the combined history of this event, Germany and Poland are tied for the lead among all countries with 15 total final four finishes each (Germany has six for men and nine for women while Poland has nine for men and six for women). In the race for medals in the event, Germany leads with 13 total (four four men and nine for women) while second is Poland with 10 total (seven for men and three for women).
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 joined 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).
Cyta TV of Larnaka will broadcast the medal matches for both genders live on Saturday evening. An international IMG television crew is also on-site to produce special segments from both genders to air on the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour highlight shows to air worldwide later this summer.
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 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.
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.
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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