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Tuesday’s qualifying sets main draw fields for FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam

Thailand's Tanarattha Udomchavee bumps the Mikasa to Varapatsorn Radarong to advance from qualifying to Wednesday's start of the main draw at the $440,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam double-gender tournament.

São Paulo, Brazil, October 8, 2013 – Enjoying cooler than normal temperatures under mostly cloudy skies, eight men’s and eight women’s teams advanced from Tuesday’s qualifying rounds to Wednesday’s start of the 32-team main draw at the $440,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam double-gender tournament as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is back in Brazil for the 27th consecutive year. Men’s teams advancing were two from Canada and one each from Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Switzerland. For the women, moving forward to pool play were teams from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Thailand and the United States.

A total of 18 men’s and 17 women’s teams battled in the single-elimination qualification tournament Tuesday to determine the final eight spots in their respective 32-team main draw fields as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumed in South America after a six-week layoff. Main Draw round-robin four-team pool play starts Wednesday morning at the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam. Pool Play will conclude with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. With the event being held for the first time in São Paulo the purpose-built site is located on the expansive grounds of Parque Villas Lobos on the west side of the massive city.

Main Draw pool play matches at the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam are scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday on four courts with two rounds of three for women and one of three pool play matches for men.

Men’s teams advancing to the main draw ‘money rounds’ were Brazil’s Thiago Santos/Oscar Brandao, Canada’s Christian Redmann/Maverick Hatch, Canada’s Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow, Chile’s Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt, Czech Republic’s Premsyl Kubala/Jan Dumek, France’s Andy Ces/Edouard Rowlandson, Italy’s Alex Ranghieri/Andrea Tomatis and Switzerland’s Alexei Prawdzic/Sebastian Chevallier.

For the women, the eight team’s advancing to the main draw on Tuesday were Argentina’s Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug, Brazil’s Elize Secomandi/Fernanda Alves, France’s Laura Longuet/Melinda Adelin, Canada’s Jamie Lynn Broder/Kristina Valjas, Germany’s Julia Grossner/Victoria Bieneck, Japan’s Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe, Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee and USA’s Emily Day/Summer Ross.

This year’s FIVB World Tour Grand Slams use a pool format. São Paulo begin with a one-day qualification tournament 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 on Sunday. 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.

The FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam marks 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 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. It is also the 295th FIVB World Tour men’s tournament and 257th women’s tournament.

While none of the deciding eight second-round men’s matches were extended to three sets, four of the women’s second round qualifying matches went to three sets.  In the longest match of the day, Thailand’s Radarong/Udomchavee advanced to the main draw by defeating Tanja Goricanec/Tanja Huberli, 21-19, 14-21, 15-12 in 54 minutes. Thailand’s Radarong/Udomchavee advanced to their second straight FIVB Grand Slam main draw with their victory.

In another three-setter, Canada’s Broder/Valjas held off Russia’s Alexandra Shiryaeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva, 21-16, 20-22, 15-12 in 50 minutes. Japan’s Nishibori/Mizoe came from behind to advance with a three-set win over Czech Republic’s Barbora Hermannova/Martina Bonnerova, 14-21, 21-13, 15-12 in 44 minutes. In the other three-setter, an ll-Argentina match, Galla/Klub defeated compatriots Alejandra Graino/Maria Zonta, 21-11, 20-22, 15-3 in 49 minutes.

Brazil had one team in each gender advance and the home country has its full allotment of four teams in each gender set to start main draw play on Wednesday.

Speaking about her team’s two-set win over a team from Chile, Alves said, “It is normal to feel nervous in the first match. We knew how important it was, so we wanted so much to win and advance to the main draw. Our objective now is to get out of the pool. Then we’ll see where we can go, but it’s great to have made it into the main draw as we are still developing as a team on the beach after so many years playing indoors.”

On the men’s side, Brazil’s Santos was also pleased with their hard-fought, two-set advancement win over a duo from Venezuela. Santos reflected, "I was expecting a difficult match against Venezuela, because I played against both players when they were on different teams. South American players have that warm blood on the court, which makes things more complicated. But we played a good match to advance. Now begins the tournament itself, and we’re in it."

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.

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 just 40 points and is 530 over Brazil’s third place Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho with USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson 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.

Overall in the FIVB men’s medal race in Brazil, Brazil leads with 60 total medals, followed by the United States with 23, Switzerland with six, Argentina and Germany with four each, Canada with 2 and China, Cuba and Norway with one each. In 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, while China, Italy and Japan each have 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). The last of 10 FIVB World Tour Grand Slams will be the 2013 Grand Slam schedule will now end in China Oct. 22-27 at the double-gender $440,000 FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam.


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