FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumes at FIVB Moscow Grand Slam
Returning to Moscow for the ninth time and seventh straight year, this week’s tournament will be held at Vodny Stadium on the grounds of the Vodny Royal Yacht Club.
The second of 10 FIVB Grand Slam events in 2014, the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam will run from Wednesday through Sunday. The tournament format has a one-day qualification tournament on Wednesday to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play and a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. The men’s and the women’s semifinals and medal matches will be held Sunday.
The FIVB World Tour returned to Russia two weeks ago for the double-gender FIVB Anapa Open which saw Russian athletes win the silver medal for men and both the silver and bronze for women.
The field for the 2014 FIVB Moscow Grand Slam includes 74 men’s teams from 28 countries and 55 women’s teams from 23 countries selected by their national federations.
FIVB WORLD TOUR LEADERS
After four men’s and five women’s events the top three FIVB World Tour point leaders and the top three FIVB World Tour money leaders come six countries-Brazil, China, Italy, Germany, Latvia and Russia.
The men’s point leaders are Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins with 1570 points and one gold medal while second is Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai with 1,300 points and two gold medals while third is Russia’s Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav rasilnikov with 870 points. For the men’s money leaders on top is Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai with $68,000 following by Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins with $58,500 and third is Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik with $32,000.
The women’s point leaders are China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue with 1,620 points while second is China’s Chen Xue/Xinyi Xia with 1,580 points while third is Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli with 1,560 points both with 1,380 points. For the money leaders, on top is Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst with $65,000 with China’s Wang/Yue second with $51,175 and Brazil’s Agatha BednarczukBednarczuk/Barbara Seixas third with $45,000.
As the host nation, Russia has two teams automatically pre-seeded along with one wild card into the main draw in both genders. For the men, the Russian teams in the main draw are Yaroslav Koshkarev/Ruslan Bykanov, Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin. For the women, the Russian teams are Evgeniya Ukolova/Maria Prokopeva, Daria Rudykh/Nadezda Makroguzova and Ekaterina Syrtseva/Alexandra Shiryaeva Moiseeva.
Additionally, Russia has two teams in the women’s qualification tournament – Olga Motrich/Yulia Abalakina and Anastasia Vasina/Svetlana Popova. The host country also has three men’s teams and one women’s team listed as reserve entries. The men’s teams are Roman Arkaev/Maksim Hudyakov, Alexey Pastukhov/Yaroslav Ostrakhovskiy and Serguey Prokopyev/Grigoriy Goncharov. The women’s reserve team from Russia is Daria Myshhonova/Valeriya Shvedova.
After sitting out last year’s FIVB World Tour, Brazil’s iconic Juliana Felisberta Silva has returned to team with the very talented veteran Maria Antonelli. Juliana played domestically in 2013 following the retirement of her legendary teammate Larissa Franca with whom she won an unprecedented seven FIVB World Tour season point championships between 2005 and 2012 and the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Juliana/Antonelli duo has played in two qualification tournaments this year and the team is listed for the qualifier in Moscow as well. Antonelli played last season with Agatha Bednarczuk and finished fifth in the FIVB World Rankings. Overall Juliana/Antonelli duo has a 22-6 record on this year’s FIVB World Tour.
Men’s championship team of the 2013 FIVB Moscow Grand Slam was Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins while winning the 2013 women’s gold medal in Moscow was Brazilian sisters tandem of Carolina Salgado/Maria Clara Salgado.
Moscow is one of three Russian cities to host a FIVB beach volleyball international event joining Anapa and St. Petersburg. Also part of the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour was the double-gender FIVB Anapa Open was held May 27-June 1. This week’s FIVB Moscow Grand Slam starts a string of seven FIVB Grand Slams to be held over an eight-week window.
Through the FIVB Anapa Open two weeks ago, Russia has hosted a total of 26 FIVB World Tour events (14 men, 12 women) with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals, Brazil has 15, followed by Germany with six, USA with five, Russia with four, Switzerland with three, China, Latvia and the Netherlands with two each. With one men’s medal in Russia are Argentina, Norway and Portugal.
After 12 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Russia through last year, Brazil leads the medal parade with 13 total medals followed by the USA with eight, China with six, Germany and Russia with four each, and Spain with one.
THIS IS MOSCOW
Moscow is the capital and largest city in Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural and scientific center in Russia and in Eurasia. Moscow has the largest community of billionaires in the world. Moscow is the northernmost megacity in the world and fifth largest city proper in the world with a population of over 11.5 million.
Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia. Moscow is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress that is today the residence of the Russian president. The Moscow Kremlin is also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament also sit in Moscow.
FIVB BIG TIME GOLD
The gold medal teams in the FIVB Moscow Grand slam will each split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. Both the men and women’s semifinals and medal matches will be held on Sunday.
The FIVB Moscow Grand Slam will be the 302nd FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 266th FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992.
After Moscow, the FIVB World Tour continues its seven-event swing through Europe. Starting twp week’s at the FIVB Anapa Open in Russia and after last week’s break (European teams will be playing in the CEV Championship in Cagliari, Italy), there are five more double-gender FIVB Grand Slams over six weeks. After this week’s FIVB Moscow Grand Slam in Russia will be the FIVB Berlin Grand Slam in Germany (June 17-22), the FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam in Norway (June 24-28), the FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam in Switzerland (July 8-13) and finally the FIVB Transavia Grand Slam played in four different cities in the Netherlands (July 15-20) but based in The Hague.
The FIVB Grand Slams in Moscow, Berlin, Stavanger and Gstaad have purses of $800,000 each while the event in the Netherlands has an FIVB Grand Slam-record purse of $1 million.