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FIVB World Tour season update after two events in China

Germany's Kira Walkenhurst, foreground, and teammate Laura Ludwig have climbed to the top of the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour point standings after their gold medal victory in Shanghai on Sunday.
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 4, 2014 - Following two very busy and exciting weeks in China, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) has successfully launched the second year of the next Olympic cycle with its 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The FIVB World Tour now moves way west to Mexico for the US$150,000 FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open starting Tuesday.

Last week’s US$800,000 FIVB Shanghai PPTV Grand Slam continued to set the stage for a raucous 2014 season as Italy, Latvia and Germany won the men’s medals and the Germany, China and Brazil captured the podium in the women’s competition. The FIVB Shanghai PPTV Grand Slam was the second event of the 2014 FIVB World Tour as well as being the first of a FIVB-record 10 double-gender FIVB Grand Slam tournaments on the 20014 calendar.

Winning the their second straight FIVB World Tour gold medal as a team and in the history of their country, Italy’s seventh-seeded Olympians Daniele Lupo/Paulo Nicolai were impressive in coming from behind in three sets to defeat Latvia’s third-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins as the powerful 2013 FIVB World Ranking leaders captured the silver medal.  The men’s bronze medal in Shanghai went to Germany’s 11th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik who defeated Brazil’s fourth-seeded Emanuel Rego/Pedro Salgado in three sets.

On the women’s side at the FIVB Shanghai PPTV Grand Slam, Germany’s second-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhurst took home the gold over China’s home-country favorite 10th-seeded tandem of Fan Wang/Yuan Yue in three grueling rain-soaked sets. In an all-Brazilian bronze medal match, sixth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas won the bronze over top-seeded 2013 FIVB World Ranking leading team of .Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima in two sets.

The Shanghai gold medal winners in each gender have taken the early lead in the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour point and money standings. Gold in each FIVB Grand Slam event in 20014 earns $57,000 for the team to split with $43,000 split by each silver medal team, $32,000 split by each of the two bronze medalists and $24,000 split by each of the fourth place teams.

The top three teams in each gender also received 800, 720 and 640 points respectively on the 2014 FIVB World Tour. Italy’s double-gold medal winners Lupo/Nicolai has 1,300 points to lead the early men’s 2014 FIVB World Tour point standings followed by Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins with 1,070 while third is Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Pedro Salgado with 720.  For the women, Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst are on top with 1,040 followed by China’s Wang/Yue with 1,020 and USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross with 980.

Statistically, in men’s action after two events, Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai are 13-1 (92.9% winning percentage) and Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik is next with a 6-1 record for one event and a 85.7% winning percentage..

For the women to date, USA’s Walsh Jennings/A. Ross are 11-1 to start the season (91.7%) while next is Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst at 10-2 (83.3%) and Australia’s Nicole Laird/Mariafe Artacho at 5-1 (83.3%)..

FIVB 2014
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.


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