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NEWS

Marseille Set to Host “Record” 16th SWATCH Stop

 
SWATCH representatives Nadia Waelti (left) and Veronique Doucet (right) with American gold medal winners April Ross (second from the left) and Jen Kessy
 

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 10, 2010 - When a men’s player serves the first Mikasa on the Plages du Prado Gaston Defferre July 20, the Mediterranean port city of Marseille will “officially” become the No. 1 site on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour in terms of hosting the most international Beach Volleyball tournaments.

Currently tied with Rio de Janeiro with a history of 15 men’s events, the 2010 Marseille stop for men will assume the top position on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour list of sites hosting the most tournaments since the start of international competition in 1987.  Except for 2005, Marseille has been a regular site on the SWATCH calendar.

The 2010 Marseille event will also be the 13th women’s tournament for France’s “Second City” where the Plages du Prado Gaston Defferre site also hosted the 1999 SWATCH FIVB World Championships.  The Japanese city of Osaka has staged the most women’s events with 14 as the first Marseille stop for the gender being in 1997.

A pair of American tandems captured the 2009 Marseille gold medals as the event featured single-elimination play where the Main Draws for men and women were expanded to 48 teams per gender after staging country quota playoffs and qualifying rounds.  Jenny Kessy and April Ross snared the women’s crown followed by an American gold medal win for Beijing 2008 Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers.

Kessy and Ross, who had captured the gold medal at the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships three weeks earlier in Stavanger, Norway, became the sixth different American women’s team to win a Marseille gold medal by scoring a 21-16 and 21-17 win in 42 minutes over Vassiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani of Greece.

After placing third at the Stavanger worlds, Dalhausser and Rogers won their first of two 2009 SWATCH Grand Slam titles by defeating Spain’s Adrian Gavira Collado and Pablo Herrera Spain 21-8 and 21-14 in the 35-minute Marseille finale.  The Americans advanced to the finals by ending a SWATCH record 25-match winning streak by 2009 world champions Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann by defeating the Germans 21-18 and 21-15 in the semi-finals.

The 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour will start in April and conclude in November as the international Beach Volleyball circuit will visit 17 sites in 14 countries over an eight-month period.  With the calendar featuring 15 women’s and 14 men’s events within the Asian, European and South American confederations, the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour will offer $6.82-million in prize money.  Twelve of the tournaments will be combined men’s and women’s events, including all six Grand Slam stops.

Women’s-only stops will be in China (Sanya), Korea (Seoul) and Thailand (Phuket).  After a year’s absence, the Czech Republic capital of Prague returns to the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar and will stage the second of two men’s-only events in June following the Polish stop in Myslowice in late May.

With Rome scheduled to host the 2011 SWATCH FIVB World Championships, the Italian capital will be one of two new Grand Slam events on this year’s calendar along with Stare Jablonki, Poland.  Rome hosted its first FIVB event in 2009 with a men’s-only tournament.  Stare Jablonki started as a fixture on the international calendar in 2004 as a men’s-only event.  The last two editions in the Mazury region of Poland also featured women’s play in 2008 and 2009.

The $2.4-million SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slam series will also return to Austria (Klagenfurt), Norway (Stavanger), Russia (Moscow) and Switzerland (Gstaad).  Moscow will be staging its fifth SWATCH stop with the 2010 event being its third-year of Grand Slam competition.  The Russian capital hosted men’s-only events in 1998 and 1999 before joining the Grand Slam schedule in 2008.

Klagenfurt, Gstaad and Stavanger have each staged 10 or more FIVB-sanctioned Beach Volleyball events.  All three sites have previously hosted the SWATCH FIVB World Championships with Klagenfurt in 2001, Gstaad in 2007 and Stavanger in 2009.  Klagenfurt joined the international schedule in 1997 with a men’s event with the women joining the Austrian competition schedule in 2001.  Stavanger hosted a men’s event in 1999 with women’s play starting in 2002.  Gstaad’s first SWATCH stop was a women’s event in 2000 with the men joining the competition format in the Swiss village the next year.

The opening event on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar will be a double gender event in Brasília April 19-25 as the Brazilian capital will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on the third day of competition.  During the April 21 Brasília celebration, crowds of more than 1-million will be attending various holiday activities around the SWATCH event.  Brazil has staged a SWATCH FIVB World Tour event every year since the start of the international circuit for men in 1987 and women in 1992.

China and Norway join Poland in each staging two SWATCH FIVB World Tour stops in 2010.  The Chinese port city of Shanghai will host the international circuit for the seventh year.  Following a women’s event in 2004, Shanghai has staged double gender stops since 2005.  The Norwegian resort village of Kristiansand will be hosting a double gender event for the fourth-straight year.

Mariehamn in the Finnish islands of Åland and The Hague in The Netherlands are also on the 2010 calendar.  The two events will conclude the men’s international schedule in late August while the women’s competition will end in October and November with events in Sanya and Phuket, respectively.

The international Beach Volleyball calendar will also feature world championships for players under the age of 21.  Portugal will host the 2010 SWATCH FIVB Youth World Championships July 28-August 1 in Porto for players under the age of 19.  For the second-straight year, Turkey will host a world finale as Alanya will be the site September 15-19 for the 2010 SWATCH FIVB Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21.  The U19 world championships in 2009 were held in Alanya before England hosted the U21s in Blackpool.

IMG Sports Media will continue to have the exclusive distribution media rights for the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour.  A new Mikasa ball, the VLS 300, will be used after being introduced last October and November at events in Sanya and Phuket.

2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Calendar 

WOMEN’S DATES

COUNTRY

EVENT

PRIZE MONEY, US$

April 19-24

Brasília, Brazil

Open

$190,000

May 4-9

Shanghai, China

Open

$190,000

May 17-22

Rome, Italy

Grand Slam

$300,000

May 25-30

Seoul, Korea

Open

$190,000

June 7-13

Moscow, Russia

Grand Slam

$300,000

June 28-July 3

Stavanger, Norway

Grand Slam

$300,000

July 5-10

Gstaad, Switzerland

Grand Slam

$300,000

July 19-25

Marseille, France

Open

$190,000

July 26-July 31

Klagenfurt, Austria

Grand Slam

$300,000

August 2-7

Stare Jablonki, Poland

Grand Slam

$300,000

August 9-14

Kristiansand, Norway

Open

$190,000

August 16-21

Aland, Finland

Open

$190,000

August 23-28

The Hague, Netherlands

Open

$190,000

October 26-31

**Sanya, China

Open

$190,000

November 2-7

Phuket, Thailand

Open

$190,000

 

 

 

 

MEN’S DATES

COUNTRY

EVENT

PRIZE MONEY, US$

April 20-25

Brasília, Brazil

Open

$190,000

May 3-8

Shanghai, China

Open

$190,000

May 18-23

Rome, Italy

Grand Slam

$300,000

May 25-30

Myslowice, Poland

Open

$190,000

June 8-14

Moscow, Russia

Grand Slam

$300,000

June 15-20

Prague, Czech Republic

Open

$190,000

June 29- July 4

Stavanger, Norway

Grand Slam

$300,000

July 6-11

Gstaad, Switzerland

Grand Slam

$300,000

July 20-25

Marseille, France

Open

$190,000

July 27-August 1

Klagenfurt, Austria

Grand Slam

$300,000

August 3-8

Stare Jablonki, Poland

Grand Slam

$300,000

August 10-15

Kristiansand, Norway

Open

$190,000

August 17-22

Aland, Finland

Open

$190,000

August 24-29

The Hague, Netherlands

Open

$190,000

 **Location & date to be confirmed





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