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BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS

Birthdays galore this week in World Tour history

 
Russian Konstantin Semenov celebrates his birthday on Tuesday
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 7, 2020 - Sixteen beach volleyball Olympians celebrate their birthdays this week as 24 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour titles were decided during the June 7-13 time period along with the Under-23 World Championships in 2013.


Eric Fonoimoana from the United States is one of three beach volleyball Olympians celebrating birthdays today along with Indonesia’s Muchammad Nurmufid and France’s Stephane Canet. Both Fonoimoana and Nurmufid turn 51 today with Canet observing No. 49.

While Nurmufid placed 17th at the inaugural Summer Games in 1996 at Atlanta with Markoji Markoji, Fonoimoana and Dain Blanton posted arguably the biggest Olympic upset by topping the podium at Sydney 2000 by defeating heavily-favoured Ze Marco de Melo and Ricardo Santos in the finale.

With Eric Fonoimoana (left) watching, American partner Dain Blanton (centre) hits against Brazilian Ricardo Santos

Canet and Mathieu Hamel, who played in more FIVB beach volleyball events than any other French men’s or women’s team (97), placed 19th at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games where they upset Germans Christoph Dieckmann/Andreas Scheuerpflug in pool play.

Monday’s birthday revellers are Americans Linda Hanley (60, fourth at Atlanta 1996 with Barbra Fontana) and Jenny Johnson Jordan (47, fifth at Sydney 2000 with Annett Davis), England’s John Garcia-Thompson (41, 19th at London 2012 with Steve Grotowski) and Canadian Jamie Broder (35, ninth at Rio 2016 with Kristina Valjas May).

At the Rio 2016 Olympics are Canadians Kristina Valjas May (left) and Jamie Broder

Australian Matthew Grinlaubs (49, 17th at Sydney 2000 with Joshua Slack) and Russian Konstantin Semenov (31, fourth at Rio 2016 with Viacheslav Krasilnikov) celebrate birthdays Tuesday followed by parties Wednesday for Australian Liane Fenwick (48, ninth at Sydney 2000 with Anita Palm), Brazilians Pedro Cunha (37, fifth at London 2012 with Ricardo Santos) and England’s Zara Dampney (34, 17th at London 2012 with Shauna Mullin).

Brazilian Pedro Cunha won an FIVB event in Puerto Rico three days after his 21st birthday with Rogerio 'Para' Ferreira

Thursday’s birthday lineup has rejoicing for Argentina’s Georgina Klug (36, 19th at Rio 2016 with Ana Gallay), Australian Julien Prosser (48, fourth at Athens 2004 with Mark Williams) and South Africa’s Colin Pocock (48, ninth at Athens 2004 with Gershon Rorich). The week’s birthday list ends Saturday with Norwegian Nila Ann Hakedal (41, 19th and ninth at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, respectively, with Ingrid Torlen).

Norwegian Nila Ann Hakedal (left) at the 2009 Stavanger World Championships with chef Gunnar Hvarnes (centre) and compatriot Iver Horrem

Eleven of 24 FIVB World Tour titles decided during the June 7-13 timeframe were secured by Brazilian pairs with four gold medals for American teams, three crowns by Chinese duos, two wins by Austrian tandems, and one title each for teams from Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In 2013 on June 9, Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak and Germany’s Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider won the gold medals at the FIVB Under 23 World Championships in Myslowice, Poland. The youth world title was the third for Kantor and Losiak, who topped an under-19 podium in 2010 at Porto, Portugal, and the 2012 under-21 platform in 2013 at Halifax, Canada. 

The 2013 Under-23 World Championship podium placers from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany and Poland

Kantor and Losiak also have claimed two FVB World Tour titles together along with appearing in the Rio 2016 Olympics where they placed 17th after being eliminated by eventual Olympic silver medal winners Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy.

Here are the FIVB World Tour gold medal winners for the week of June 7-13.

June 7
• In 2008, Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connolly Henkel of Brazil won the Stare Jablonki Open. It was the first of three FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2015, Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands won the Porec Major. It was the second of six FIVB World Tour wins for the team.

Podium placers from the United States and Brazil at the 2008 Stare Jablonki with Ana Paula (third from left) and Shelda (third from the right)

June 8
• In 2003, Blanton and Jeff Nygaard won the Rhodes Open. It was the first and only FIVB World Tour win for the team.
• In 2008, Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil won the Stare Jablonki Open. It was the 31st of 33 wins for the team.

June 9
• In 2002, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States won the Madrid Open. It was the second of 40 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2019, Jingzhe Wang and Shuhui Wen of China won the Nanjing Open. It was the third of five FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2019, Lena Plesiutschnig and Katharina Schutzenhofer of Austria won the Baden Open. It was the second of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.

The 2019 women's Baden podium with Austrians and Dutch players

June 10
• In 2007, Kristjan Kais and Rivo Vesik of Estonia won the Zagreb Open. It was the first and only FIVB World Tour win for the team.
• In 2007, Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca of Brazil won the Warsaw Open. It was the 15th of 45 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2018, Josemari Alves and Liliane Maestrini of Brazil won the Nantong Open. It was the first of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2019, Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria won the Baden Open. it was the second of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.

Rivo Vesik (second from left) and Estonian partner Kristjan Kais

June 11
• In 2000, Ana Paula and Monica Rodrigues won the Cagliari Open. It was the first and only FIVB World Tour win for the team.
• In 2006, Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland won the Roseto degli Abruzzi Open. It was the third of three FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2011, May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won the Beijing Grand Slam. It was the 38th of 40 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2011, Alison Cerutti and Emanuel won the Beijing Grand Slam. It was the second of seven FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2012, Chen Xue and Xi Zhang of China won the Moscow Grand Slam. It was the 12th of 15 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2016, Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany won the Hamburg Major. It was the fifth of 11 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.

Kira Walkenhorst (left) and Laura Ludwig of Germany

June 12
• In 2005, Marcio Araujo and Fabio Luiz Magalhaes of Brazil won the Zagreb Open. It was the first of 11 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2005, Juliana and Larissa won the Milan Open. It was the third of 45 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2012, Alison and Emanuel won the Moscow Grand Slam. It was the sixth of seven FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2016, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena of the United States won the Hamburg Major. It was the fifth of nine FIVB World Tour wins for the team.

Nick Lucena (left) and Phil Dalhausser of the United States

June 13
• In 2004, Pedro Cunha and Rogerio 'Para' Ferreira of Brazil won the Puerto Rico Open. It was the first and only FIVB World Tour win for the team.
• In 2010, Xue and Zhang won the Moscow Grand Slam. It was the fifth of 15 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
• In 2015, Maria Antonelli and Juliana won the Stavanger Major.  It was the second of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.

An exhausted Juliana Felisberta (laying on the sand) with Brazilian partner Maria Antonelli after winning the gold medal match at the 2015 Stavanger Major


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