Iconic $800,000 FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam starts in Austria
This week's tour stop is being held in Klagenfurt through Sunday in a purpose-built venue along side of picturesque Lake Wörthersee.
The FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam is the fourth of four consecutive FIVB Grand Slam tournaments being held in four separate countries—Switzerland, The Netherlands, the United States and Austria. With the FIVB based in Lausanne, Switzerland, Gstaad was the venue three weeks ago and The Netherlands hosted two week, anchoring in The Hague and Long Beach (Calif.) USA was the site last week.
This year will be an unprecedented 17th time in the last 18 years that the Lake Wörthersee site has hosted the international circuit. While the men’s world tour has been in Klagenfurt 16 straight times from 1997 through 2012 for this magical summer festival, the women’s world tour has been in Klagenfurt for 12 consecutive years from 2001 through 2012.
The FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam is using the FIVB format of a single-day qualification tournament on Tuesday for women and Wednesday for men to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments, round-robin pool play with begin on Wednesday for women and Thursday for men. It will conclude with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. The event is being played on the purpose-built site located alongside Lake Wörthersee. Local event information is available at beachvolleyball.at.
Women’s single-elimination play will begin on Thursday and men’s on Friday with the women’s round of 16 and quarterfinals on Friday and men’s on Saturday. Women’s semifinals and men’s round of 16 and quarterfinals will be held on Saturday. The women’s medal matches closing the FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam will be held on Saturday. On Sunday, the men’s semifinals and medal matches will conclude the event.
The total entry list for the 2014 FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam includes 91 men’s teams from 34 countries and 78 women’s teams from 25 countries selected by their respective national federations.
FIVB WORLD TOUR LEADERS
The top three teams in each gender at FIVB Grand Slam events receive 800, 720 and 640 points respectively on the 2014 FIVB World Tour.
USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal duo continues as the men’s point leader with 4,720 points. Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins is second with 4,010 points in the men’s 2014 FIVB World Tour point standings followed by Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt with 3,810 points.
In the 2014 FIVB World Tour men’s season earnings, the leading team continues to be USA’s Dalhausser/Rosenthal with $294,000 followed by Poland’s Gregorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel with $201,000, Brazil’s Alison/Schmidt with $162,000 and Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins, fourth with $149,000.
For the women, Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli are still at the top with 4,680 points followed by USA’s April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings with 4,580 and Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas with 4,380 points.
In the 2014 FIVB World Tour women’s season earnings, continuing to lead is USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings with $254,000 followed by Brazil’s Bednarczuk/Seixas second with $180,000, Brazil’s Juliana/Antonelli third with $179,375 and Germany’s Holtwick/Semmler fourth with $164,000.
OH, WHAT A FOUR-SOME
Starting with the FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam in Switzerland three weeks ago and then the FIVB The Hague Transavia Grand Slam two weeks ago and the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam last week, the 2014 FIVB World Tour is in the last a four week run of Grand Slam events in four countries with a FIVB-record total purse of $3.6 million. This schedule foursome ends with the FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam in Austria through Sunday.
While the FIVB Grand Slams in Gstaad and Klagenfurt have this year’s regular significant Grand Slam purses of $800,000 each the Grand Slams in the Netherlands and the USA each had a FIVB Grand Slam-record purse of $1 million.
As the host nation, Austria has three men’s and three women’s teams automatically pre-seeded into the main draw . For the men, the Austrian teams in the main draw are Clemens Doppler/Alexander Hors, Alexander Huber/Robin Seidl and Tobias Winter/Lorenz Petutschnig. For the women, the main draw teams from Austria are Lisa Chuwama/Stefanie Schwaiger, Katharina Schutzenhofer/Lena Plesiutschnig and Barbara Hansel/Bianca Zass.
Additionally, Austria will have two men’s team and two women’s teams in their respective qualification tournaments. The two men’s qualification teams from Austria are Daniel Mullner/Jorg Wutzl and Thomas Kunert/Christoph Dressler while the two Austrian women’s qualification teams are. Valeria Teufl/Cornelia Rimser and Nadine Strauss/Teresa Strauss.
Men’s championship team of the 2012 FIVB Klagenfurt Grand Slam was Netherland’s veteran Olympians Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil. Winning the 2012 women’s gold medal in Klagenfurt was the new Russian team of Ekaterina Khomyakova/Evgenia Ukolova.
KLAGENFURT MEDAL COUNT
Through the 2012 event, Austria has hosted a total of 28 FIVB World Tour events (16 men, 12 women-all in Klagenfurt) during a 16-year period with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals, Brazil has 24 medals, followed by the USA with nine, Germany with five, Netherlands and Norway with three each, Switzerland with two and with one men’s medal each in Klagenfurt are Argentina and Russia.
After 12 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Klagenfurt, Austria through 2012, Brazil leads the medal parade with 15 total medals followed by the USA with 11, Germany and China with four each, Netherlands with two and with one women’s medal in Klagenfurt are Czech Republic, Russia and Ukraine.
J’s BACK, AND NOW LARISSA, TOO
After sitting out last year’s FIVB World Tour, Brazil’s iconic Juliana Felisberta Silva returned to team with the very talented veteran Maria Antonelli. Juliana played domestically in 2013 following the one-year 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. 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 52-16 record on this year’s FIVB World Tour, with three silver medals (Fuzhou, Puerto Vallarta, Berlin) and one bronze (The Hague). Antonelli played last season with Agatha Bednarczuk and finished fifth in the 2013 FIVB Season Rankings.
Brazil’s Larissa is made her return to the FIVB in The Hague, teaming with 2013 FIVB season point champion and fellow Olympian Talita Antunes where they finished ninth in their first tournament back with a 3-1 record, losing only to Brazil’s eventual champions Lima/Alves and the new duo went 2-2 and finished ninth last week in the USA.
FIVB PURSE, TOURNEY TOTALS
The FIVB Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam is the 308th FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 272 FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992. Gold medal winning teams in each gender in Klagenfurt will split $57,000, silver will receive $43,000, bronze medalists get $32,000 and the fourth place finishers will earn $24,000 of the $800,000 total purse.
THIS IS KLAGENFURT
Klagenfurt is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria. With a population of over 90,000, it is the sixth-largest city in the country. The city of Klagenfurt is located in southern Austria, midway across the nation, near the international border. It rests in the middle region, almost as far from Innsbruck, to the west, as from Vienna, to the northeast. Klagenfurt is elevated 446 meters (1,463 feet) above sea level. It is on Lake Wörthersee and on the Glan River. The city is surrounded by several forest-covered hills and mountains with heights of up to 1,000m (3,300ft). To the south is the Karawanken mountain range, which separates Carinthia from Slovenia and Italy.