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NEWS

Nine Grand Slams scheduled for SWATCH World Tour 2012

 
Berlin could return to the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour calendar in 2012 for the first time in three years
 
Lausanne, Switzerland, November 15, 2011 – The FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour 2012 schedule will feature a total of 14 events in 15 countries over a seven-month period, including a record-breaking nine Grand Slam tournaments, increasing from six in 2011, after it was released by the FIVB on Wednesday.

There will also be eight Open events, six of which will be single-gender competitions.

With total prize money of $7.3 million on offer, the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour 2012 will include Grand Slams offering $600,000 prize money in Beijing, Moscow, Rome, Stavanger, Gstaad, Klagenfurt, Stare Jablonki as well as Shanghai, which has been upgraded from an Open, event and Berlin which may return to the calendar for the first time since 2008. The latter event will be confirmed in the near future.

The World Tour could also see a return to Rio de Janeiro after seven years away, but it is still yet to be decided, with Brazilian capital Brasilia yet to reach a decision. Furthermore, the Phuket Open has been taken off the calendar with an Open event now taking place in Bang Saen, Thailand.

The FIVB SWATCH World Tour will begin with a double gender Open in either Brasilia or Rio de Janeiro from April 16 to 22 ahead of the first Grand Slam in Shanghai, China from April 30 to May 6. One of the highlights of the year will undoubtedly be the London 2012 Olympic Games from July 27 to August 12, but before that comes the five Beach Volleyball Continental Cup final tournaments from June 18 to 24 followed by the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Olympic Qualification  from June 25 to July 1, both of which offer duos a last chance at qualification. The five national federations from each confederation to win the Continental Cup will earn a ticket to London while the two countries per gender from the World Cup Olympic qualification tournament will also qualify. The location of these events will be decided later this year.

The 16 places per gender to qualify directly from the World Tour will be decided following the Rome Grand Slam from June 12 to 17. The national federations with the twelve best results between the World Championships, World Tour and recognized Continental Tours from January 1, 2011 up until this date will automatically earn a berth at the Olympic Games.

“With the popularity of beach volleyball in Germany rising at a rapid pace, it made sense to include Berlin in the calendar,” Dr Ary Graça, president of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Commission said. “This is by far the strongest and most extensive schedule the FIVB has ever produced and it is a true reflection of the growth of beach volleyball over the last few years. We have experienced a phenomenal increase in interest with full capacity crowds at almost every venue. It is sure to be an exciting season of beach volleyball action and that is before we even begin to think about the Olympic Games and the FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup finals.

“Having seen the plans for Horse Guards Parade and heard reports from the test event earlier this year I think it is obvious that the London Olympic Games offers beach volleyball a new and unique platform to spread the game even further. To have a tournament taking place in such a historic setting is wonderful for the sport and I cannot wait to be among the thousands of fans next July and August. We really hope that the event will sell out as we have no doubt that LOCOG plan on putting on a memorable show,” Dr Graça added.

“Beach volleyball continues to be a leading light across the world in terms of growth and I am proud to see that we as an organization are continuing to expand our horizons,” Mr Vincente Araujo, the secretary of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Commission, said. “The fact that the World Tour will visit so many different cities is an impressive feat, and the Continental Cup has already added to that. I truly believe that next season will be the best yet for the sport as we usher in another new era for beach volleyball.”

FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour 2012 schedule

Date

Event type

Locations

Gender

April 16-22

Open

Rio de Janeiro/Brasilia, Brazil*

Men/Women

April 24-29

Open

Sanya, China

Women

April 24-29

Open

Myslowice, Poland

Men

April 30-May 6

Grand Slam

Shanghai, China

Men/Women

May 7-13

Grand Slam

Beijing, China

Men/Women

May 22-27

Open

Prague, Czech Republic

Men

June 6-12

Grand Slam

Moscow, Russia

Men/Women

June 12-17

Grand Slam

Rome, Italy

Men/Women

June 25-July 1

Grand Slam

Stavanger, Norway

Men/Women

July 2-8

Grand Slam

Gstaad, Switzerland

Men/Women

July 10-15

Grand Slam

Berlin, Germany**

Men/Women

July 16-22

Grand Slam

Klagenfurt, Austria

Men/Women

July 28-August 9

Olympic Games

London, Great Britain

Men/Women

August 13-19

Grand Slam

Stare Jablonki, Poland

Men/Women

August 21-26

Open

Quebec, Canada

Men/Women

August 28-September 2

Open

Aland, Finland

Women

October 2-7

Open

Agadir, Morocco*

Men

October 23-28

Open

Bang Saen, Thailand

Women

*Location to be confirmed

**To be confirmed







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