2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour underway in China
Last week’s season-opening US$150,000 FIVB Fuzhou Open got things go in resounding fashion Italy, Brazil and the Netherlands won the men’s medals and the United States, Brazil and China captured the podium in the women’s competition. The FIVB Fuzhou Open was the season opener for the 2014 FIVB World Tour and the first of seven double-gender FIVB Open tournaments on the 20014 calendar.
Winning the first FIVB World Tour gold medal in the history of their country, Italy’s seventh-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paulo Nicolai were impressive in defeating Brazil’s sixth-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt as the new South American team captured the silver medal. The men’s bronze medal in Fuzhou went to Netherlands’ 12th-seeded Jon Stiekema/Christiaan Varenhorst upset Latvia’s 2013 FIVB World Rankings leaders Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins.
On the women’s side at the FIVB Fuzhou Open USA’s fourth-seeded three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and 2012 Olympic silver medalist April Ross took home the gold over Brazil’s 30th-seeded tandem of the legendary Juliana Felisberta Silva and new teammate Maria Antonelli. China’s top-seeded Xinyi Xia/Chen Xue won the bronze medal over fifth-seeded Brazilian sisters Carolina Salgado/Maria Clara Salgado.
The three podium duos in each gender have taken the opening lead in the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour point and money standings. Gold in each FIVB Open event in 20014 earns $11,000 for the team to split with $8,000 split by each silver medal team and $6,000 split by each of the two bronze medalists.
The top three teams in each gender also receive 500, 450 and 400 points respectively to start the 2014 FIVB World Tour as the top three point leaders in their respective genders.
Statistically, in men’s action, Brazil’s Alison/Schmidt and Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai were both 6-1 (85.7%) in the FIVB Fuzhou Open, Canada’s Sam Pedlow/Grant O’Gorman was 5-1 (83.3%), while Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Pedro Salgado and compatriots Alvaro Filho/Ricardo Santos were both 4-1 (80%).
For the women in Fuzhou, USA’s Walsh Jennings/A. Ross were a perfect 100 percent 7-0 to start the season while Brazil’s Juliana/Antonelli were 6-2 (80%) and China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue were 4-1 (80%).
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar features a record purse of US$10.2 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 21 venues in 18 countries. This year’s FIVB World Tour includes a record 10 FIVB Grand Slam events, the inaugural Grand Slam Finale and 11 FIVB Open Tournaments throughout the world, helping expand the door for development of the sport even further.
The 10 FIVB Grand Slam competitions, all double-gender, have eight with $800,000 in total purses while both The Hague, Netherlands and the Long Beach, Calif., USA event will have $1 million each in prize money, the most in FIVB Grand Slam history.
The 11 FIVB Open tournaments in 2014, seven double-gender, two men only and two women only, will have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.