FIVB World Tour back in Norway for FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam
This will be the 14th men’s and 11th women’s FIVB World Tour events in Stavanger. Stavanger also hosted the 2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and this week’s tournament will be held at Vaagen in the City Center of Stavanger. The event returns to Norway and Stavanger for the first time since 2011.
The fourth of 10 FIVB Grand Slam events in 2014, the FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam will run from Tuesday through Saturday for women and Wednesday through Sunday for men. The tournament format has a one-day qualification tournament on Tuesday for women (Wednesday for men) 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 women’s semifinals and medal matches will be played on Saturday while the men’s semis and medal matches are scheduled for Sunday.
The field for the 2014 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam includes 84 men’s teams from 29 countries and 71 women’s teams from 25 countries selected by their respective national federations.
FIVB WORLD TOUR LEADERS
After six men’s and seven 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, Latvia, Russia and the United States. All of the point and money-leading teams are among the entries for this week’s FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam.
The men’s point leader is Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins with 2530 points and one gold medal while second is Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai with 2,220 points and two gold medals while third is Russia’s Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov with 1,910 points and one gold medal. For the men’s money leaders on top is Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai with $103,000 following by Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins with $92,500 and third is Russia’s Semenov/Krasilnikov third with $80,200.
The women’s point leader is Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli with 2,760 points followed by China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue with 2,540 points and third is Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima with 2,360 points. For the money leaders, on top is April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States with $102,000 and two gold medals, with Brazil’s Talita/Lima second with $90,750 and Brazil’s Juliana/Antonelli third with $90,375 and two silver medals.
As the host nation, Norway has three teams automatically pre-seeded into the main draw in both genders. For the men, the Norwegian teams in the main draw are Mathias Berntsen/Anders Berntsen, Oivind Hordvik/Morten Kvarnsdal and Iver Horrem/Geir Eithun. For the women, the Norwegian main draw teams are Janne Kongshavn/Victoria Kjolberg, Irmelin Sannarnes/Ane Tveit Hjortland and Cindy Treland/Janne Pedersen.
Additionally, Norway will have at least one team in each qualification tournament. Currently listed as men’s reserve teams from Norway are Daniel Bergerud/Svein Solhaug, Mathias Loftesnes/Christian Sorum, Lars Retterholt/Bjarte Usken and Andreas Takvan/Runar Sannarnes. The women’s reserve teams from Norway are Benedicte Maaseide/Cecilie Woie, Hannah Perrens/Sunniva Helland-Hansen, Siv Skjong/Oda Ulveseth and Vilde Solvoll/Ingrid Lunde.
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, the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Juliana/Antonelli duo has advanced to the main draw after playing in four qualification tournaments this year and the team is listed for the qualifier in Stavanger as well.
In addition to leading the women’s 2014 FIVB World Tour point standings and being third in earnings, overall the Juliana/Antonelli duo has a 34-9 record on this year’s FIVB World Tour, with two silver medals (including Berlin last week). Antonelli played last season with Agatha Bednarczuk and finished fifth in the FIVB Season Rankings.
Men’s championship team of the 2011 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam was Brazil’s aging warriors Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos while winning the 2011 women’s gold medal in Stavanger was USA’s Jennifer Kessy/April Ross. Kessy/Ross also won the 2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stavanger. Marcio is playing a limited FIVB schedule this year while Ricardo is teamed with Alvaro Filho, one of Brazil’s many rising stars. Ross is playing this season with USA’s legendary Kerri Walsh Jennings while Kessy is currently retired from the FIVB World Tour.
Through the last stop in 2011, Norway has hosted a total of 31 FIVB World Tour events (17 men, 14 women) with 23 being held in Stavanger and eight in Kristiansand with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals, Brazil has 27, followed by Germany with seven, USA four, Switzerland three and with one men’s medal each are Argentina, Australia, China, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia and Spain.
After 14 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Norway through 2011, Brazil leads the medal parade with 18 total medals followed by the USA with 12, China with five, Austria and Greece with two each and with one each women’s medals are Australia, Germany and Norway.
FIVB BIG TIME GOLD
The gold medal teams in the FIVB Stavanger Grand slam will each split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. The women’s semifinals and medal matches will be held on Saturday while on Sunday will be the men’s semifinals and medal matches.
The FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam will be the 304th FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 268th FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992.
After Stavanger, the FIVB World Tour continues its seven-event swing through Europe. There are three more double-gender FIVB Grand Slams over four weeks. After last week’s FIVB Berlin smart Grand Slam in Germany will be this week’s FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam in Norway, 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.
While the FIVB Grand Slams in Stavanger and Gstaad have purses of $800,000 each the event in the Netherlands has a FIVB Grand Slam-record purse of $1 million.
THIS IS STAVANGER
With a population of over 121,000 Stavanger is the third largest city in Norway and sits on the western coast of the country on the North Sea. Located on theStavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger Cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. This has caused the town center and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses. Stavanger is today considered the center of the oil industry in Norway and is one of Europe’s energy capitals and is often called the oil capital of Norway.
NET POWER TIME
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 10 FIVB Open Tournaments throughout the world, helping expand the door for development of the sport even further.
The 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 10 FIVB Open tournaments in 2014, seven double-gender, two men only and one women only, will have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.
As part of the initiatives of FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° and his leadership team, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball international calendar also includes a record four age-group FIVB World Championships along with the 2014 Nanjing (China) Youth Olympic Games (Aug. 17-27). The FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 World Championships (Acapulco, Mexico, July 15-20) will debut this year while the FIVB U23 World Championships (Myslowice, Poland, June 10-15) debuted in 2013. This year will mark the 14th annual FIVB U21World Championships (Larnaka, Cyprus, July 23-27) and the 13th annual FIVB U19 World Championships (Porto, Portugal, July 29-Aug. 3).
The 2014 FIVB age groups world championships got started in Poland with Poland’s Maciej Kosiak/Maciej Rudol winning the men’s gold medal for the home country and Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Nicole Laird winning the women’s gold medal.