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Vitória Open features past & present world champions

In an all-Brazilian match, Marcio Araujo (left) is on the attack as partner Luciano De Paula (right) bump sets the Mikasa as compatriot Andre Loyola Stein follows the action.
Vitória, Brazil, March 15, 2016 - The day started here Tuesday with the reigning men’s FIVB world champions at a mid-day media conference and ended with a former world titlist winning a qualifying match in the afternoon to advance to the Main Draw of this week’s $150,000 Vitória Open on Camburi beach at Avenue Dante Michelini.

Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, who topped the World Championship podium last July in the Netherlands, talked about playing at home in Vitória as the pair will be the featured team in the men’s Vitória Open money rounds when pool play starts Wednesday for both genders as the FIVB World Tour returns here for the first time since 2006.

Quick links
•    Vitória Open website
•    Qualification - Men
•    Qualification - Women
•    Main draw - Men
•    Main draw - Women


In the next to last match of the day on center court Tuesday, 2005 FIVB world champion and 26th-seeded Marcio Araujo and Luciano Ferreira de Paula rallied to post a 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-12) win in a 54-minute all-Brazilian qualifying match over 23rd-seeded Oscar Brandao and Andre Loyola. The 31-year-old Luciano and Marcio Araujo opened play Tuesday by ousting seventh seeded Marco Caminati and Enrico Rossi of Italy 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 17-15) in 58 minutes.

“What a relief,” said an exhausted 42-year-old Marcio Araujo after the match as Brazil qualified two men’s teams Tuesday for the Main Draw. “It has been a long day. I really wanted to make the Main Draw as this is where my former partner Fabio (Magalhaes) works as an official in the sports ministry. It will be good to see him along with playing here again in Vitória.”

Marcio Araujo and Fabio captured the 2005 FIVB World Championships in Berlin and netted the silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games where they defeated compatriots Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos in the semifinals before losing to Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers in the gold medal match.

Prior to playing with Fabio, Marcio Araujo played in 50 FIVB World Tour events with Benjamin Insfran. The pair won eight international circuit gold medals together, including the 2000 Vitória Open title. Marcio Araujo and Fabio teamed for 70 FIVB starts together with 11 gold medals, 29 podium placements and 34 final four finishes.

Marcio Araujo captured his 19th FIVB World Tour gold medal with Ricardo in 2011 at Stavanger, Norway. The pair also placed second at the 2011 FIVB World Championships in Rome where Marcio Araujo and Ricardo dropped the gold medal match to Emanuel and Alison. Marcio Araujo’s 20th and final gold medal was at the end of the 2011 FIVB season when he and Benjamin reunited for a title in Åland, Finland.


Hitting the Mikasa Brazil's Saymon Barbosa against Latvia's Haralds Regza

Saymon Barbosa and Guto Carvalhaes, who were seeded 15th in the qualifier, won the last match Tuesday over a second-seeded Latvian pair to give host Brazil five teams in the Main Draw at the seventh men’s event on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour schedule. In addition to the two qualifying teams, other Brazilian pairs in Wednesday’s Main Draw are Alison/Bruno, Ricardo/Alvaro Filho and wild card entrants Leonardo Gomes/Rodrigo Vieira.

After two days of pool play where the top three teams from each group will advance to the elimination phase of the Vitória Open, two elimination rounds will be played Friday with the men’s and women’s quarterfinal matches set for Saturday. The medal matches are scheduled for Sunday morning on Camburi Beach.


Poland's Michal Bryl (left) and Jakub Szalankiewicz giving five

Two teams from Poland earned Main Draw berths Tuesday, including fifth-seeded Michal Bryl/Jakub Szalankiewicz and eighth-seeded Maciej Kosiak/Maciej Rudol. Poland finished last week's Rio Grand Slam on Copacabana by placing three teams in the final four, including two men's pairs.

Other men's teams advancing to Wednesday's money rounds are top-seeded Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe of Turkey, third-seeded Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse of Qatar, 11th-seeded Julian Azaad/Pablo Bianchi of Argentina and 13th-seeded Dmitri Barsouk/Nikita Liamin of Russia.


Following the Vitória Open, the FIVB World Tour will take a two-week break before resuming action on April 4-8 for the men’s-only event in Doha, Qatar. Before returning to Brazil for the Fortaleza Open at the end of April, two double-gender events will be staged in China at Xiamen (April 12-17) and Fuzhou (April 19-24).


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