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Brazilian Challenger tour begins in Maringá

Maringá, Brazil, May 11, 2017 - Six days before the start of the US$300,000 Rio Open, a "four-star" international Beach Volleyball event on the 2017 FIVB World Tour calendar, the Brazilian federation will stage the opening "challenger" event on the domestic tour starting Friday in Maringá (PR) at the Olympic Village. 

The first of four stops on the 2017 Brazilian Challenger Tour, the Maringá Open features a trio of top Brazilian Beach Volleyball players, including Olympians Benjamin Insfran (2004 Athens), Renata Ribeiro (2008 Beijing) and Harley Marques, a two-time winner of the FIVB World Tour's most outstanding player award (2008 and 2009) and international circuit champion with Pedro Salgado in 2008.
Harley Marques (left) and Benjamin Insfran captured the top trophy at a 2005 FIVB World Tour stop in Canada

Following qualifying Friday, the final 16 teams in each gender will be divided into four groups of four pairs and will compete in the first phase of competition Saturday. The first team in each group will advance to the quarter-finals while second and third placed play in the first round of elimination.  The semi-finals and medal matches will be played Sunday.

The Brazilian Challenger tour will also feature events in Bauru (SP), Palmas (TO) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ).  The winning team of each stop adds 400 points to their ranking along with prize money.  At the end of the four stops, the men's and women's pairs with the most points will be "crowned" the champions of the Challenger tour.

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