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Record US$1,000,000 purse for FIVB The Hague Transavia Grand Slam

Netherlands' Madelein Meppelink, left, and Marleen Van Iersel, finished third in Moscow this year and won the gold medal at the CEV European Championships and will lead the Dutch teams into this week's $1,000,000 FIVB The Hague Transavia Grand Slam.
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 14, 2014 — Long the innovative pioneer for change and development of the Olympic sport of beach volleyball, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) will again enhance the quality of its 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour this week at the double-gender US$1,000,000 FIVB The Hague Grand Slam.

Offering the largest Grand Slam purse in FIVB history and using three cities for the first time, the FIVB World Tour has had eight events in the Netherlands, four for each gender and all of the previous FIVB World Tour events have been in The Hague.

In preparation for hosting next year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, the FIVB and the Dutch national volleyball federation will anchor this year’s tournament in the Hague and have some pool play action in both Amsterdam and Apeldoorn. All three cities along with Rotterdam are scheduled to be the host sites for next year’s world championships.

This year’s FIVB The Hague Transavia Grand Slam is the second of four consecutive FIVB Grand Slam tournaments being held in four separate countries—Switzerland, The Netherlands, the United States and Austria. With the FIVB based in Lausanne, Gstaad hosted last week’s FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam.

This week’s tournament, to be primarily played at The Hague Beach Stadium in Scheveningen, is the sixth of 10 FIVB Grand Slam events in 2014. It will start Tuesday and run through Sunday for both. The tournament format has a one-day qualification tournament on Tuesday 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 women’s and men’s medal matches are scheduled for Sunday.

The total entry list for the 2014 FIVB The Hague Transavia Grand Slam includes 93 men’s teams from 34 countries and 72 women’s teams from 30 countries selected by their respective national federations.

The Hague Beach Stadium in Scheveningen will see the qualification tournaments for each gender, some pool play as well as the single elimination ‘knock out’ phase from Friday to Sunday, July 18-20. Additional pool play will be held during event week in the two other cities.

The top three podium teams in each gender at 2014 FIVB Grand Slam events receive 800, 720 and 640 points respectively.

After eight men’s and nine women’s events the top three  FIVB World Tour point leaders and the top three  FIVB World Tour money leaders come from five countries-Brazil, China, Italy, Latvia and the United States. All of the point and money-leading teams are among the entries for this week’s FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam.

USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal is the new point leader with 3,200 points. Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins is second with 3,050 points to in the men’s 2014 FIVB World Tour point standings followed by Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt with 2,890, Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai fourth with 2,820 and Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Pedro Salgado fifth with 2,620 points.

In the 2014 FIVB World Tour men’s season earnings, the leading team continues to be USA’s Dalhausser/Rosenthal with $172,000 followed by Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai $121,000 followed by Brazil’s Alison/Schmidt with $118,000, Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins with $107,500 and USA’s Nick Lucena/Ryan Doherty with $96,000.

For the women, Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli are still at the top with 3,680 points followed by China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue with 3,500, USA’s April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings with 3,420; Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas with 3,100 and Germany’s Karla Borger/Britta Buthe with 2,780.

In the 2014 FIVB World Tour women’s season earnings, continuing to lead is USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings with $170,000 followed by Brazil’s Juliana/Antonelli with $125,375, Czech Republic’s Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova with $122,000, China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue with $120,175 and Germany’s Borger/Buthe with $116,375.

Starting with last week’s FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam in Switzerland, the 2014 FIVB World Tour starts a four week run of Grand Slam events in four countries with a FIVB-record total purse of $3.6 million. Following the FIVB The Hague Transavia Grand Slam will be the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in the United States (July 22-27) and the FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam in Austria (July 29-Aug. 3).

While the FIVB Grand Slams in Gstaad and Klagenfurt have this year’s regular Grand Slam purses of $800,000 each the Grand Slams in the Netherlands and the USA each has a FIVB Grand Slam-record purse of $1 million. In both The Hague and Long Beach, the gold medal winners in each gender will share a $70,000 purse with $52,000 for silver, $40,000 for bronze and $30,000 for fourth place.

As the host nation, Netherlands has three teams automatically pre-seeded into the main draw in both genders. For the men, the Dutch teams in the main draw are Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Reinder Nummerdor/Steven van de Velde and Jon Stiekema/Christiaan Varenhorst, Netherlands. For the women, the Dutch main draw teams are Rimke Braakman/Jantine van der Vlist, Sanne Keizer/Sophie van Gestel and Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel.

Additionally, Netherlands will have at two men’s team and two women’s teams in their respective qualification tournaments. The two men’s qualification teams from the Netherlands are Dirk Boehle/Mart van Werkhoven and Daan Spijkers/Michiel van Dorsten while the two Dutch women’s qualification teams are. Laura Bloem/Marloes Wesselink and Annemieke Driessen/Ilke Meertens.

Men’s championship team of the 2013 FIVB The Hague Grand Slam was Brazil’s new team of Pedro Salgado/Bruno Oscar Schmidt. Winning last year’s women’s gold medal in The Hague was another new Brazilian duo of Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima.

This will be the ninth and 10th FIVB World Tour competitions held in the Netherlands with all four double-gender events being held in The Hague in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Through the 2013 event, Netherlands has hosted a total of eight FIVB World Tour events (4 men, 4 women) with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders.  In the men’s totals, Brazil has four medals, followed by Netherlands and USA with two each, and with one men’s medal each in The Hague are Latvia, Poland, Russia and Spain.

After four FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Netherlands through 2013, Brazil leads the medal parade with eight total medals followed by the USA with two and with one women’s medal each in The Hague are China and Germany.

After sitting out last year’s FIVB World Tour, Brazil’s iconic Juliana Felisberta Silva returned to team with the very talented veteran Maria Antonelli. Juliana played domestically in 2013 following the one-year retirement of her legendary teammate Larissa Franca with whom she won an unprecedented seven FIVB World Tour season point championships between 2005 and 2012, the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. In addition to leading the women’s 2014 FIVB World Tour point standings and being third in earnings, overall the Juliana/Antonelli duo has a 43-13 record on this year’s FIVB World Tour, with three silver medals (Fuzhou, Puerto Vallarta, Berlin). Antonelli played last season with Agatha Bednarczuk and finished fifth in the 2013 FIVB Season Rankings.

Brazil’s Larissa is making her return to the FIVB in The Hague, teaming with 2013 FIVB season point champion and fellow Olympian Talita Antunes.

The FIVB The Hague Transavia Grand Slam will be the 306th FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 270th FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992. Gold medal winning teams in each gender in the Netherlands will split $70,000, silver will receive $52,000, bronze winners get $40,000 and the fourth place finishers will earn $30,000 of the $1,000,000 total purse..

The Hague is the seat of government in the Netherlands and the capital city of the province of South Holland. With a population just over 500,000 and more than one million inhabitants including the suburbs, it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amersterdam and Rotterdam. The Hague is located in the west of the Netherlands. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, the Supreme Court and the Council of State, but the city is not the capital of the Netherlands which constitutionally is Amsterdam. Most foreign embassies in the Netherlands and 150 international organizations are located in the city. Amsterdam is the most populous within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Amsterdam has a population of 1,569,300 in the metropolitan area. Apeldoorn is a city in the center of the Netherlands with a population of just under 160,000.

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