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Brazil on top on eve of World Championships

Pedro and Bruno lead the men's seasons rankings after beating defending world champions Alison and Emanuel in the bronze medal match in Rome
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 24, 2013 – With the $1 million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships set to begin on July 1 in Stare Jablonki, Poland, the first half of the 2013 FIVB World Tour has clearly shown that Brazil is as dominate as ever in international competition as well as the fact that there are several other men and women’s teams capable of winning gold in Poland and throughout the second half of the FIVB international season. 

Following this past week’s FIVB Rome Grand Slam, the world’s best beach volleyball tandems will head towards Poland for the ninth FIVB World Championships to be held July 1-7. 

Following the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball international schedule resumes immediately in Switzerland with the $440,000 FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam.  

Following the stop in Switzerland, the FIVB World Tour returns to the United States for the first time in 10 years when it visits Southern California for the $440,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, July 22-28 for another double-gender event. 

A pair of new teams, both with veterans, Brazil continues to lead both the men and women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball standings. Riding atop the men’s season point standings is Brazil’s new team of Pedro Salgado/Bruno Oscar Schmidt while leading the women’s action is another new Brazilian team, Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima.

The fourth double gender Grand Slam event on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour was held this past week in Italy with the $440,000 FIVB Rome Grand Slam. 

The men had their first repeat winner of the 2013 season as Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal of the United States defeated Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia for the gold medal. It was Dalhausser’s 25th FIVB World Tour victory and the sixth for Rosenthal. 

On the women’s side, Brazil’s Antunes/Lima won their third FIVB World Tour event of the season with a three-set win over USA’s 2012 Olympic silver medalists Jennifer Kessy/April Ross. 

It was Antunes’ 16th career FIVB international victory and third for Lima. With the beach volleyball world collectively turning its eyes to Stare Jablonki and the FIVB World Championships, midway through the men’s FIVB international season, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt have collected 3,020 points and lead Latvia’s second-place Janis Smedins/Aleksandrs Samoilovs by 180 points and USA’s third-place Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson by 370 points. 

In the season earnings race, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt lead with $87,775, followed by Latvia’s Smedins/Samoilovs with $83,700 and USA’s Gibb/Patterson with $72,500. 

In 2013 FIVB women’s international competition, Brazil’s Antunes/Lima duo continues to lead at the midway point in the season with 3,050 points and $106,500 in earnings. 

Second in both categories is Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands with 2,590 points and $65,900 while third is the Brazilian sister team of Maria Claria Salgado/Carolina Salgado with 2,500 points and $60,500 in earnings. Statistically in FIVB men’s international competition, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt duo has a 27-7 match record so far for a 79.4% winning percentage, third highest. 

Based on winning percentage to date, USA’s Dalhausser/Rosenthal is now first at 86.4% (19-3), followed by Latvia’s Smedins/Samoilovs at 80.0% (24-6), Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt, USA’s Gibb/Patterson tandem at 78.6% (22-6), , and Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel at 75.0% (21-7). 

Half way through this year’s FIVB women’s international play, Brazil’s Antunes/Lima duo has the second highest winning percentage at 87.1% (27-4) as China’s Chen Xue/Xi Zhang have only played twice so far and have a 91.7% (11-1) to lead. Third is USA’s Kessy/Ross at 77.8% (21-6), followed by Netherlands’ Meppelink/van Gestel at 75.0% (24-8) and Brazil’s Salgado sisters at 74.2% (19-7) to complete the top five. 

Three teams tied for sixth and all also considered contenders for gold in Poland at 71.4% (20-8 each) are Germany’s Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, Brazil’s Liliane Maestrini/Barbara Seixas and Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Agatha Bednarczuk. 

On the FIVB men’s international season scorecard, USA’s Dalhausser/Rosenthal (Fuzhou, Rome) have won two gold medals while USA’s Gibb/Patterson (Shanghai), Latvia’s Smedins/Samoilovs (Corrientes) and Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt (The Hague) each have one gold medal. 

On the FIVB women’s international season scorecard, Brazil’s Antunes/Lima (Shanghai, The Hague and Rome) have three gold medals while China’s Xue/Zhang (Fuzhou) and Netherlands’ van Gestel/Meppelink (Corrientes) each have one gold medal at the midpoint of the season. 

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 seven Open events throughout the world to help open the door for development of the sport. 

The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will end in Brazil with the $440,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam to be held October 9-13. 

In other FIVB international beach volleyball news this week, Brazil and Poland won the gold medals at the FIVB U-21 World Championships in Umag, Croatia. 

Helping identify young talent for the future, Brazil’s Gustavo Carvalhaes/Allison Cittadin won the men’s gold while capturing the women’s gold was Poland’s Katarzyna Kociolek/Jagoda Gruszczynska.

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