Gstaad, Switzerland, July 26, 2008 – The FIVB has confirmed the Preliminary Round (pool round robin) for the men’s and women’s Olympic Games Beach Volleyball Tournaments after the Drawing of Lots took place on Saturday evening in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Two thousand Beach Volleyball fans, professional players, VIPs and local dignitaries packed into the Menuhin Festival tent in the beautiful Swiss Alps resort to see the 24 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams divided into the six groups of four that will make up each Preliminary Round of the Olympic tournaments in Beijing that run through August 9-14. The knockout stages run August 15 to 22.
Reigning Olympic women’s gold medallists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor of USA face Norway’s Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen, Cuba’s Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Tamara Larrea Peraza and Japan’s Mika Teru Saiki and Chiaki Kusuhara in the women’s Pool B.
Athens 2004 champions Ricardo and Emanuel of Brazil are up against Australia’s Josh Slack and Andrew Schacht, Georgia’s Renato “Geor” Gomes and Jorge “Gia” Terceiro and Angola’s Emanuel Fernandes and Morais Abreu in the men’s Pool C.
Under the supervision of FIVB Executive Vice President Vicente Araujo and FIVB Beach Volleyball Director Angelo Squeo and observed by BOCOG officials, the pool composition was completed by Swiss Beach Volleyball star Stefan Kobel and Swiss Paralympian Heinz Frei as follows:
Women’s Preliminary Round pools
Tian Jia-Wang, China (No. 1 seed)
Van Breedam-Mouha, Belgium
Kuhn-Schwer, Switzerland UPDATED
(Montagnolli-Swoboda, Austria, withdrew on July 31)
Walsh-May-Treanor, USA (No. 2 seed)
Fernandez Grasset-Larrea Peraza, Cuba
Teru Saiki-Kusuhara, Japan
Juliana-Larissa, Brazil (No. 3 seed)
Xue-Zhang Xi, China (No. 4 seed)
Augoustides-Nel, South Africa
Branagh-Youngs, USA (No. 5 seed)
Esteves Ribalta-M. Crespo, Cuba
Talita-Renata, Brazil (No. 6 seed)
Men’s Preliminary Round pools
Xu-Wu, China (No. 1 seed)
Kais Kr.-Vesik, Estonia
Rogers-Dalhausser, USA (No. 2 seed)
Ricardo-Emanuel, Brazil (No. 3 seed)
Marcio Araujo-Fabio Luiz, Brazil (No. 4 seed)
Nummerdor-Schuil, Netherlands (No. 5 seed)
Laciga M.-Schnider, Switzerland
Brink-Dieckmann Ch., Germany (No. 6 seed)
Boersma E.-Ronnes, Netherlands
FIVB and BOCOG officials were scheduled to determine the Preliminary Round match schedule by Monday.
A “serpentine system” was followed to determine the exact final seeding in the pools, using the Olympic Qualification Ranking confirmed by the FIVB on Thursday, July 24. Chinese men’s pair Linyin Xu and Penggen Wu and women’s pair Jia Tian and Jie Wang were the No. 1 seeds and were placed automatically in Pool A in each tournament as per FIVB regulations after both pairs ranked among the first six teams. Seed Nos. 2 to 6 were placed in Pools B to F, respectively. Seed Nos. 7-9 were drawn randomly in Pools F, E, D and Nos. 10-12 drawn randomly in Pools C, B, A before Nos. 13 to 18 and then Nos. 19-24 were drawn randomly in Pools A to F.
The SWATCH FIVB World Tour 1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam, the super-successful USD 600,000 event that runs through July 21-27 in Gstaad this year, hosted the Drawing of Lots. Amid a carnival-type atmosphere in the Menuhin Festival tent, attendees were entertained during the event with dazzling performances from famous Swiss pop stars, classical musicians, dance troupes, comedians and video action showing some of the best Beach Volleyball athletes in the world.
The state-of-the-art 12,000-seater Chaoyang Park in Beijing will be the venue of the fourth Olympic Beach Volleyball Tournaments, with two “Lucky Loser” matches to be played on a court adjacent to Centre Court. The top two teams of each pool advance to the knockout Round of 16 stage, along with the two best third-placed teams. The remaining four third-placed teams play two Playoff matches to determine the final two places (Lucky Losers) in the Round of 16.
For photos of the Drawing of Lots event in Gstaad on Saturday go to:
Information on final Olympic Qualification Ranking:
Information on the Drawing of Lots system used:
IEC made available from noon local time a video news release of the Drawing Of Lots on the EVS news exchange, available to all members and affiliates of the European Braodcasting Union and international news agencies (SNTV, Reuters, UPI).