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FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam returns to Swiss mountain resort

Gstaad is a player and spectator favourite on the World Tour

Lausanne, Switzerland, May 7, 2013 – Considered one of the best all-time stops on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, this year’s FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam will take place from July 9 to 14.  The US$440,000 double-gender event is the the 13th men’s and 14th women’s FIVB international tournament and Gstaad has also staged the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2007.

Over the years, the world’s best pro beach volleyball players have all danced upon the glorious Gstaad stage and this year is expected to be no different. However, with the start of the new four-year cycle, there are many new pairings who will qualify for the FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam to compete at the highest altitude of any of the FIVB events at 1,050 meters (3,440 ft) above sea level.

In the first 12 years of the Gstaad men’s tournaments, Brazil has won five gold medals, USA has won four, and Argentina, Germany and Switzerland one each. In 2012, the gold medal went to USA’s Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal who beat Brazil’s reigning world champions Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego for the second straight tournament while Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai earned bronze.

Brazil has won seven gold medals and the USA six in the first 13 years of Gstaad’s women’s tournaments. USA’s three-time Olympic champions May-Treanor/Walsh are the team with the highest number of wins in Gstaad’s history, having won the tournament six times during their illustrious career. In 2012, the gold medal went to USA’s May-Treanor/Walsh who defeated Sanne Keizer/Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands while bronze went to Switzerland’s Simone Kuhn/Nadine Zumkehr.

The year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour comprises 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Although not part of the World Tour, the FIVB yearly calendar also includes eight Open events throughout the world which still count towards the FIVB World Rankings and helps to open the door for development of the sport.

This year’s FIVB World Tour Grand Slams will use a pool format. Gstaad will begin with a one-day qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play where pools of four will play three matches each with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams (the top three from each pool) concluding with the medal matches for both genders on Sunday, July 14.

In the overall medal table for Gstaad, Brazil leads with 15 medals followed by Germany and the United States with six each, Switzerland with three and with one medal each are Argentina, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Russia and Spain.

Brazil also leads in women’s competition with 16 medals, followed by the United States with 10, China 7 and one each for Australia, Germany and Italy,

Gstaad is a quaint and picturesque village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland, which has a population of about 3,200 and is located 1,050 meters (3,440 ft) above sea level. It is part of the municipality of Saanen and as a major ski resort it is an extremely popular international tourist destination. The winter campus of the world renowned Institute Le Rosey is located in Gstaad.



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