FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

Brazilian Road to Rio revealed

By winning the men's competition at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015, Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt have secured an additional berth for their country at the Rio 2016 beach volleyball tournament.

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 14, 2015 - Now that Brazil has secured its two beach volleyball berths at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for both the men’s and women’s competitions, the question is how the South American country’s volleyball federation will determine which teams will fill those spots for the Summer Games next year.

To be played on Copacabana beach, the spiritual home of beach volleyball in Rio, the Brazilian participants will be the featured performers at one of the most iconic locations during the Rio 2016 Games where play begins August 8 and concludes August 18.

A total of 24 teams will perform in each gender’s competition where Brazil was awarded a berth as the host country while securing the second spot after winning both the men’s and women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships ten days ago in the Netherlands.

“Prior to the start of the FIVB World Tour this season, we established a formula to determine the teams that will participate for our country in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said Fulvio Danilas, the Beach Volleyball Director at the Brazilian Volleyball Federation (CBV - Confederação Brasileira de Voleibol).

“Due to the number of quality men’s and women’s teams that we have playing beach volleyball on the international tour, our goal was to give each and every one of those teams an opportunity to represent our country in the Olympics,” said Danilas.  “The first step is to use results from the FIVB World Tour events to name our first men’s and women’s teams.  The second step is to review the various results to determine our second two men’s and women’s teams for announcement in January 2016.”

To qualify through the Olympic Ranking List of 13 June 2016 or through the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball Senior World Championships, all athletes must have participated in a minimum of 12 official FIVB Olympic Qualification tournaments as an individual (FIVB World Tour/World Championships/recognized Continental Tour Finals) scheduled from 1 January 2015 until 12 June 2016. If an NOC/NF has earned quota place(s) through the Olympic Ranking List of 13 June 2016 or through the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball Senior World Championships, the NOC/NF must choose its athletes from its six (6) best eligible pairs in the Olympic Ranking List of 13 June 2016.

In determining the first two pairs to be announced in September, Danilas said that results from nine FIVB World Tour events this season will be used.  The events will include five Grand Slam stops, in Russia (Moscow), the United States (St. Petersburg and Long Beach), Japan (Yokohama) and Poland (Olsztyn), three SWATCH Major Series tournaments in Croatia (Porec), Norway (Stavanger) and Switzerland (Gstaad), and the Rio 2016 Olympic test set for this September on Copacabana beach.

When calculating the results, a team’s best seven results among the nine events will be used.  “By using this formula, it will allow for the teams to eliminate two poor results or allow a team to miss an event due to injuries,” said Danilas.  “We also did not use the points from the World Championships since the event was regulated and not open to all contending teams from Brazil due to the maximum number of teams allowed per country.”

Even with this system in place, Danilas still feels the process is difficult. “If we only had one or two good teams, it would be easy,” said the former indoor volleyball standout, who played collegiately at USC in the United States. “As the world saw last week, Brazil dominated the World Championships by sweeping the women’s podium and netting the gold and bronze medal in the men’s competition.”

With volleyball and beach volleyball ranking behind soccer as the most popular sport in Brazil, Danilas said “the coverage in our country from the World Championships was tremendous. The excitement for Copacabana is running high where all the sessions for the Olympics will be sold out. It will be the hottest ticket at the Summer Games.”

With September’s event on Copacabana being used as an “Olympic test” for the Rio 2016 Games, Danilas said the event will be staged using the same competition schedule, except for a qualification tournament to determine the last eight pairs for the 24-team Main Draw.  Instead of running the competition over a 10-day period, the play will cover five days.

“The value for teams competing in the test event is that the tournament will be played on the same site as the Olympics on Copacabana,” said Danilas.  “Although we are playing two weeks later in the year as compared to the 2016 Olympics, teams will get a feel for the conditions in Copacabana.”

But the real highlight of the test will be that it is the final event to be used in determining Brazil’s first two men’s and women’s teams to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  Prior to the start of last week’s Gstaad Major, Danilas said “we still have five events on the schedule. The Brazilians will be playing their best to reach their ultimate goal of playing on Copacabana in the Olympics.”

Danilas was not wrong about Brazilians playing their best in Gstaad.  For the 48th-time on the FIVB World Tour, Brazilian men’s and women’s teams captured both gold medals in the same tournament. The women’s finale was an All-Brazilian affair for the 55th-time on the international circuit.

Entering this week, here are the standings for the Brazilian teams using points from the Moscow and St. Petersburg Grand Slams, and the Porec, Stavanger and Gstaad Majors.

Women's Team: Events, Totals
Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, 5    2,840
Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, 4    2,760
Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta, 5    2,600
Fernanda Alves/Taiana Lima, 5    1,600
Carolina Salgado/Maria Clara Salgado, 4    1,360
Carolina Horta/Liliane Maestrini, 3    1,080

Note. Talita/Larissa (Stavanger) and the Salgados (Porec) missed events due to injuries.  Fernanda/Lima (Moscow, Porec) and Carolina/Liliane (Stavanger) were eliminated in Country Quota playoffs. Carolina/Liliane missed Gstaad due to participation in the PanAm Games.

Men's Team: Events, Totals
Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, 5    2,360
Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, 5    2,320
Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, 5    2,160
Vitor Felipe/Alvaro Filho, 3    880

Note. Vitor/Alvaro (St. Petersburg) missed an event due to injuries.  Vitor/Alvaro missed Gstaad due to participation in PanAm Games.

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