SWATCH Grand Slam Returns to Carinthia Capital
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 10, 2010 - Considered by many as the premier international Beach Volleyball event, the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria hosts the fifth of six Grand Slam events on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar July 26-August 1.
The US$600,000 Austrian Grand Slam marks the 14th-straight year that the Lake Wörthersee site has hosted the international circuit as teams from Brazil and United States captured women’s and men’s gold medals, respectively, in finals featuring the two Beach Volleyball powers.
Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca notched the first 2009 Brazil-USA gold medal confrontation on the Lake Wörthersee centre court by defeating Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs 21-12 and 21-15 in the 39-minute women’s finale. It was Juliana and Larissa’s first Klagenfurt title after finishing fifth, fifth, second and second in their first four Austrian appearances.
Beijing 2008 Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers evened the Brazil-USA title series the next day by out-lasting Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques 21-19, 12-21 and 15-12 in the 64-minute men gold medal match. The title was Dalhausser and Rogers’ second Klagenfurt crown after captured the 2006 gold medal by defeating Athens 2004 Olympic champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil in the finale.
Highlighting the 2009 Austrian Grand Slam was the first-ever semi-final appearance by a host country team as Barbara Hansel and Sara Montagnolli placed fourth. In becoming the first Austrian men’s or women’s team to reach the Klagenfurt “final four”, Hansel and Montagnolli posted the tournament’s biggest upset by eliminating top-seeded Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes 21-14 and 21-17 in the quarter-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 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.
Gstaad and Stavanger have also staged 10 or more FIVB-sanctioned Beach Volleyball events each along with Klagenfurt. 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