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Outstanding season start as World Tour begins in Shanghai

Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, who equalled their best ever result managed once before at the 2012 Finland Open

Shanghai, China, April 29, 2013 - Following a remarkable season opening tournament - the Fuzhou Open – in China, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2013 launches this week by remaining in China for the $440,000 FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam double-gender tournament.

Opening the season in impressive fashion at the Fuzhou Open and leading the teams to Shanghai will be the two gold medal winners in Fuzhou - USA’s Sean Rosenthal/Phil Dalhausser for the men and China’s Chen Xue/Xi Zhang for the women. Both compiling 7-0 match records in Fuzhou, Rosenthal/Dalhausser were playing the first FIVB tournament together while the veteran Xue/Zhang Xi combination earned their 13th career FIVB gold medal and fourth in an event held in their home country.

Dalhausser has now earned 24 career FIVB gold medals, the first 23 with his former teammate Todd Rogers while Rosenthal picked up his fifth career FIVB gold with his first four with Jake Gibb. Dalhausser, who won the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medal with Rogers and Rosenthal, who earned the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season championship last year with Gibb, both decided to end their previous partnerships at the end of last season.

With several new partnerships in both genders for the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, Dalhausser/Rogers earned their gold medal in Fuzhou by defeating Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai in two sets while China’s Xue/Zhang delighted their home country fans with a two-set gold medal match victory over Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, who equalled their best ever result managed once before at the 2012 Finland Open

Earning the bronze medals respectively last week were Austria’s surprising Alexander Huber/Robin Seidl for the men and Germany’s Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler for the women. Completing the final four placements at the FIVB Fuzhou Open respectively were Brazil’s new team of Alvaro Filho/Ricardo Santos for the men and Netherlands’ Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel for the women.

This week’s FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam will see men’s competition running from Tuesday through Saturday and the women’s tournament running from Wednesday through Sunday. Using a format of a one-day qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play and a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams, the event will again be held at the City Beach complex in the Jinshan District of Shanghai.

The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900. The men’s semifinals medal matches will be held on Saturday and the women’s semifinals medal matches will be played on Sunday.

The FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam will be the ninth straight FIVB men’s and 10th consecutive FIVB women’s tournament in Shanghai as the FIVB will be playing a men’s event in China for the 16th time and a women’s event for the 25th time. The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will return to China for one more double-gender event, the FIVB Beijing Grand Slam, October 2-6. This week’s event will also be the 285th FIVB men’s event since they began play in 1989 and the 247th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.

Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the FIVB has begun an initiative in 2013 with the FIVB World Tour being comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Not part of the World Tour but still counting towards the FIVB World Rankings, the FIVB yearly calendar also includes eight Open events throughout the world to help open the door for development of the sport.

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