New victors assured at Rome Grand Slam
Rome, Italy, June 10, 2013 - Following the confirmation of team entered to participate in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Rome Grand Slam, one thing is certain that there will be new winners in both the men’s and women’s events.
A year ago USA’s Jacob Gibb and Sean Rosenthal won their first FIVB gold medal and qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games when they defeated world champions Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in the final. In the women’s Nadine Zumkehr and Simone Kuhn from Switzerland defeated Germany’s Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig.
Since then Gibb and Rosenthal have found new partners, with Casey Patterson and Phil Dalhausser respectively, while Zumkehr is now playing with Joana Heidrich following Kuhn’s retirement at the end of 2012.
Rome has fast become one of the most popular venues on the FIVB World Tour, with the action taking place at the historic Foro Italico Sports Complex north of the city and the matches going on late into the evening.
This year it has extra relevance as it is the final tournament before the start of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and so presents a final chance for teams to improve their world ranking and lay down a marker to their rivals.
Jennifer Kessy and April Ross are the women’s first seeds and will be out to improve on the bronze medals that they won in the Eternal City in 2012. Also aiming to improve on 2012’s performance are local favourites Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti, who finished fourth last year and are seeded sixth.
In the men’s draw Alison and Emanuel are seeded first and they will be hoping to repeat their dominant performances from Rome 2011, when they became world champions at Foro Italico’s centre court.
The strong starts to the year by Rosenthal and Dalhausser and Gibb and Patterson are reflected by them being seeded second and third, while Italy’s highest ranked team, Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai are ranked in ninth place.
The Rome Grand Slam runs from June 18-23 is the fourth of 10 Grand Slam tournaments that make up the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.