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28 men’s, 18 women’s duos set for Corrientes qualifying

The stage has been set for Wednesday's qualification tournament to launch the double-gender $440,000 FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam in Argentina.

Corrientes, Argentina, May 21, 2013 - Following Tuesday night’s technical meeting, a total of 28 men’s and 18 women’s teams will contest a single-elimination qualification tournament Wednesday to determine the final eight spots in their respective 32-team main draw fields as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumes in South America, returning to Argentina for the first time since 2000 for the this week’s $440,000 FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam double-gender tournament. Wednesday’s qualifying tournament will start at 9 a.m. local time with competition held on six Corrientes courts.

Tuesday night’s preliminary inquiry and technical meeting at the Hotel Turismo tournament headquarters drew a packed house of players, coaches, media and event officials.

When finished, the seeds and the first round schedule for Wednesday morning we announced.  Top-seeded in the men’s qualifier is Austrian 2012 Olympians Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst while at the top of the women’s qualification field are Brazilian sisters Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Salgado.

Doppler/Horst and the Salgados both drew byes into the second and advancement round of their qualifying tournaments. Both teams will play at noon.

Doppler/Horst will play on the Corrientes stadium court against the winner of the 9 a.m. Court match between Venezuela’s Fernando Ramos/Carlos Rangel vs. Puerto Rico’s Hector Soto/Victor Rivera, while the Salgados will be on Court 5 against the winner of the 9 a.m. match on Court 5 between Austria’s Valerie Teufl/Elisabeth Klopf vs. Paraguay’s Patricia Caballero/Michelle Valiente.

The first Corrienties stadium court match of the tournament at 9 a.m. wil be between Canada’s Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton and Czech Republic’s Jan Dumek/Jakub Vesely.

Following two season-opening events in China, the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will have men and women’s competition running from Wednesday through Sunday. Using a format of a single-day qualification tournament on Wednesday to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments, round-robin pool play with begin on Thursday. It will conclude with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. With the event being held for the first time in Corrientes the purpose-built site is located on the sands of Arazati Beach – Costanera Sur.

The lighted stadium court has been built to seat 7,500 spectators. With competition on the final four days schedule into the evening, the women’s semifinals and medal matches will be held on Saturday with the men’s semifinals and medal matches closing the tournament on Sunday. Play the first four days is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday for the men’s final four matches.

Visiting Corrientes for the first time, the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam is the fourth all-time FIVB World Tour men’s event, first FIVB World Tour women’s tournament and first FIVB World Tour Grand Slam in Argentina. Argentina’s men’s world tour events were all held in Mar del Plata (1998, 1999, 2000) and a men’s FIVB Satellite event was also held there in 2004. In 2005, Buenos Aires was the site of a double-gender FIVB Satellite event.

As the host nation, Argentina receives three teams in each gender pre-positioned into the main draw. For the men, Argentina’s teams will be Ian Mehamed/Julian Amado, Pablo Bianchi/Pablo Suarez and Juan Zorrilla/Facundo Del Coto. The women’s teams pre-positioned from Argentina are 2012 Olympians Ana Gallay/Maria Zonta, Natalia Flaviani/Georgina Klug and Alejandra Graino/Florencia Di Cesare. In the men’s qualification tournament for Argentina will be Santiago Etchegaray/Angel Verzzali. Argentina also has one men’s team in the qualifier in Santiago Etchegaray/Angel Verzzali.

The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is 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.

The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900. The women’s medal matches will be held on Saturday and the men’s medal matches on Sunday. The FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will be the 286th FIVB men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1989 and the 248th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.

The city of Corrientes is the capital of the province of the same name and is located in north east Argentina on the shores of the Panara River, 620 miles north of Buenos Aires near the border of Paraguay. The city has a population of nearly 350,000 people. Corrientes, is the most important city in the province, known for its economic prosperity. It also houses the government’s offices and institutions.

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