Brazil’s George/Thiago among 8 men qualifiers for main draw at $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
The 2016 FIVB World Tour regular season is concluding in the United States with the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball being held Tuesday through Sunday on a colorful purpose-built venue at Alamitos Beach adjacent to Marina Green Park on East Shoreline Drive.
In all, two teams from the United States, along with one team each from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Poland and Switzerland won to advance into the 32-team men’s main draw.
Upsetting a solid team of experienced American players, Brazil’s youngster George and veteran Thiago, defeated USA’s double-veterans Ryan Doherty/John Mayer in straight sets, 21-19, 21-17 in 34 minutes.
While this is the fourth consecutive year that the FIVB World Tour has stopped in Long Beach, Calif., the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball featuring the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam is the 22nd men’s event of the season and 19th women’s event on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started with three events at the end of 2015.
LONG BEACH QUALIFIERS
Besides Brazil’s George/Thiago, as advancing to the main draw Tuesday were Canada’s Christian Redmann/Felipe Humana-Parades, France’s Maxime Thiercy/Romain Di Giantommaso, Germany’s Armin Dollinger/Lorenz Schumann, Poland’s Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak, Switzerland’s Jonas Kissling/Marco/Krattiger, USA’s William Allen/Theo Brunner and USA’s Mark Burik/Stafford Slick.
France’s surprising Maxime Thiercy/Romain Di Giatommaso where the only team that advanced to the main draw by having to play two qualifying matches.
In the only three-set match of the second qualifying round, USA’s Burik/Slick came from behind to hold off Norway’s Oivind Hardvik/Bjorne Huus, 13-21, 21-15 and 15-11 in 44 minutes.
While the cornerstone of the beach volleyball celebration is the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (regular season finale of the 2016 FIVB World Tour), the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball encompasses a wide variety of additional elements . Also part of the beach festival will be live entertainment, a special celebrity center court match, an expansive vendor’s village, multiple open, junior and youth beach volleyball tournaments and the very special legends of the game tribute dinner all at the event venue.
For complete details regarding the entire ASICS WSOBV lineup of events and activities including premium seating tickets, visit the event website at www.wsobv.com.
LONG BEACH SCHEDULE
The $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam features 32 main draw teams per gender. Qualifying tournaments were held on Tuesday for each gender to determine the final eight teams for each 32-team main draw. On Wednesday and Thursday, teams will be split into eight, four-team pools for each gender to play three matches over the two days. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds starting Friday.
On Friday and Saturday, there will be three rounds of single-elimination with the quarterfinals and semifinals for each gender. The women will hold their quarterfinals on Friday with their semifinals on Saturday.
For the men on Saturday, matches will be the men’s quarterfinals and men’s semifinals. On Sunday at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, the medal matches will be held for each gender. The awarding ceremonies will follow the gold medal match for each gender.
Brazil veteran Thiago, 33, and young gun George, just 19 years old, are playing in just their second FIVB World Tour event as a team, having finished ninth in the FIVB Maceio Open earlier this year in Brazil. Thiago is a veteran of 62 FIVB World Tour events and this the second for the youthful George.
Following his team’s win, George commented, “It’s my first time to play in a FIVB Grand Slam and to make it through qualifying into the main draw is very good for us. We trained hard in Brazil against other Brazilian players. We play well in the FIVB Maceio Open back in February and I am grateful to have this opportunity to be in the United States and I am very proud to be able to play against so many Olympic teams that are here in Long Beach. We played very well against the USA team especially Thiago’s serves and net play.”
With six teams in the main draw, USA qualifiers Allen/Brunner and Burik/Slick will be joining USA’s second-seeded Olympians Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, fourth-seeded Olympians Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, ninth-seeded John Hyden/Tri Bourne and 19th-seeded brothers Taylor Crabb/Trevor Crabb in the main draw in Long Beach.
FIVB LONG BEACH GRAND SLAM PURSE/POINTS
The gold medal teams at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will split $57,000 and 800 points, the silver $43,000 and 720 points, the bronze $32,000 and 640 points and fourth place $24,000 and 560 points.
ON THE HORIZON
Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, there are two more events scheduled on the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar. First event scheduled is in the United States--the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (Aug. 23-28) and the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals (Sept. 13-18, Toronto, Canada). The Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals, with $100,000 going to each winning team, will feature the top eight point leaders in each gender from the current FIVB World Tour plus four wild card teams in each gender.
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in the United States is the 350th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 311th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar features a purse of US$8.25 million with a season that extends from last October to this October, competing at 22 venues in 12 countries. The schedule includes four FIVB Grand Slams, four Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 13 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).
The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.
FIVB EVENT FORMAT
Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.