FIVB World Tour resumes in Brazil for São Paulo Grand Slam
Being held this coming week at Parque Villas Lobos, the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam will mark the 35th time that Brazil has hosted a men’s and 30th time Brazil has hosted a women’s FIVB international beach volleyball world tour event. Brazil is hosting an FIVB World Tour event for the 27th consecutive year. Brazil has staged a FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event every year since the start of the international circuit for men in 1987 and women in 1992.
Following eight FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slams, the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and two FIVB Opens completed, two teams from beach volleyball superpower Brazil remain at the top of the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour/Open leader board heading into the final two Grand Slams and final three FIVB Open events of the season.
Continuing to ride high atop the men’s FIVB World Tour/Open season point standings is Brazil’s new team of Pedro Salgado/Bruno Schmidt while continuing to lead the women’s FIVB World Tour/Open competition is another new Brazilian team, Taiana Lima/Talita Antunes.
“In 2008 I played with Harley (Marques) and we were not the number one team in Brazil,” said Salgado. “We were behind Ricardo (Santos) and Emanuel (Rego) in the ranking. But this year Bruno and I have won three gold medals of the World Tour. Now, our team returns here as Brazilian champions with more responsibility but we are staying cool, relaxed and we are really excited to play again in Brazil in a FIVB World Tour event.”
Antunes also expressed excitement about the prospects of playing in her home country.
“I played in the FIVB World Cup Final this year in Campinas (Brazil) and could feel the taste of playing an international tournament in Brazil again,” she said. “To have the fans cheering for us all the time is really good. The Brazilian fans have so much heart and are so into every serve. Besides that, it is good to play for friends and family that normally only see us play on TV.”
Counting the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt have collected 5,540 points on the 2013 FIVB World Tour/FIVB Opens and their lead over Latvia’s second-place Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins has shrunk to 40 points, 530 more than Brazil’s third place Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho. USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson are in fourth place, 890 points behind the leading team. In the season earnings race, Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins have jumped for third to first with $153,200 followed by Brazil’s Ricardo/Filho with $144,700 and Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt with $144,275. All three of the top teams are playing in their first full season together and Ricardo didn’t play one tournament because of an injury.
In 2013 FIVB women’s international competition, Brazil’s Lima/Antunes duo has been superlative and continues to lead the 2013 FIVB World Tour/FIVB Opens with 6,090 points and $201,500 in earnings. Jumping up from fourth in each category to second with their Moscow gold is Brazil’s Salgado sisters with 5,220 points and $133,500 in earnings. Third in both areas is Brazil’s Barbara Seixas/Liliane Maestrini with 4,940 and $114,375.
Fourth in points and fifth in earnings is Germany’s Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler with 4,880 and $102,700 while fourth in earnings is China’s veteran duo of Chen Xue/Xi Zhang with $114,000. Fifth in points and sixth in prize money is Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Maria Antonelli with 4,620 points and $93,375 in earnings.
With USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal (Fuzhou, Rome, Long Beach) having won three gold medals on the FIVB men’s World Tour and Open tournaments, Latvia’s Smedins/Samoilovs have two gold medals (Corrientes, Moscow). One gold medal has been won by USA’s Gibb/Patterson (Shanghai), Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt (The Hague), Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Stare Jablonki), Brazil’s Santos/Filho (Gstaad), Russia’s Yaroslav Koshkarev/Konstantin Semenov (Anapa) and Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves (Berlin).
On the FIVB women’s international season scorecard, Brazil’s Antunes/Lima (Shanghai, The Hague, Rome, Long Beach, Berlin) have a remarkable five gold medals while China’s Xue/Zhang team has won three gold medals this year (Fuzhou, Stare Jablonki and Gstaad), along with the Netherlands’ van Gestel/Meppelink (Corrientes). Russia’s Ekaterina Khomyakova/Evgeniya Ukolova (Anapa) and with Brazil’s Salgado sisters (Moscow) have won one gold medal.
This year’s FIVB World Tour Grand Slams use a pool format. São Paulo will begin with a one-day qualification tournament of 24 teams in each gender on Tuesday 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 gold medal matches for both genders Sunday, Oct. 13. The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900.
In the first 34 men’s FIVB International tournaments in Brazil, 14 in Rio de Janeiro, six in Fortaleza, five in Vitoria, four in Brasilia, Guaruja and Salvador with two each and one in Joao Pessoa, Brazil has won 21 gold medals, the United States has won 11 gold medals, while Germany has won the other two titles. In the first 29 FIVB International tournaments in Brazil for women, with seven in Rio de Janeiro, five in Salvador, four each in Brasilia and Vitoria, three each in Fortalezza and Santos and one each in Guaraja, Meceio and Recife, Brazil has won 18 gold medals followed by the United States with 10 and China with one gold medal.
Overall in the FIVB men’s medal race in Brazil’s history, Brazil leads with 60 total medals, followed by the United States with 23, Switzerland with six, Argentina and Germany with four each, Canada with two and China, Cuba and Norway with one each. For the FIVB women’s overall medal race in Brazil, Brazil also leads with 52 total medals, followed again by the United States with 27, Australia with three, Germany two, and China, Italy and Japan with one medal.
The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Not part of the World Tour but counting towards FIVB points/earnings are five Open events (four double-gender tournaments and one women-only).