FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

FIVB World Tour on Copacabana Beach for $800,000 FIVB Rio Grand Slam

Brazil's reigning FIVB Beach Volleyball World Champions Alison Cerutti, passing the Mikasa, and Bruno Oscar Schmidt will make their 2016 FIVB World Tour debut next week on Copacabana Beach at the $800,000 FIVB Rio Grand Slam.

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 4, 2016 - Enjoying the pleasant people, warm weather and inspiring competition in Brazil for the second of three straight events, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) continues the qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

Starting Monday will be the double-gender $800,000 FIVB Rio Grand Slam at Copacabana Beach, the site of this year’s Olympic beach volleyball competition in August. In all, counting the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil will host five international beach volleyball events in 2016.

Stating in Brazil with one week off after the FIVB Maceió Open there are 60 men’s teams from 26 countries and 62 women’s teams from 30 countries in Rio for a prelude to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the FIVB Rio Grand Slam.

The $800,000 FIVB Rio Grand Slam starts Monday and concludes on Sunday. The event is the third event of the year on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started with three events at the end of 2015. The FIVB Rio Grand Slam will be played at iconic Copacabana Beach.

The FIVB Rio Grand Slam is a double-gender event with 32 main draw teams per gender. It will start with a qualification tournament on Tuesday to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team main draw for each gender followed by two days of round robin pool play. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds. Pool play will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday will be the single elimination rounds with the quarterfinals and semifinals for each gender on Saturday. The medal matches for both genders and awarding ceremonies will conclude the event on Sunday.

As needed, country quota playoff matches will be played on Monday to determine the final teams in Tuesday’s qualification tournament.

Overall, Brazil has hosted 71 total previous FIVB World Tour events, at least one has been held every season that the FIVB has played beach volleyball. Rio de Janeiro has hosted 23 total events, including the 1999 World Championships. Fortaleza has hosted 10 total events, followed by Brasília with eight total events, Vitória also with eight, and Salvador with seven.  There have been 38 total men’s events and 33 total women’s events. This will be the 15th men’s FIVB World Tour event in Rio and the ninth women’s FIVB World Tour stop in Rio.

In the medal count for events held in the South American country, Brazil is far ahead in both genders. For the men, Brazil has 65 total medals followed by the United States with 25, Switzerland 6, Germany 5, Argentina 4, Canada 2, Latvia 2, China 1, Cuba 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 1 and Poland 1.

In women’s medals for FIVB events held in Brazil, Brazil tops the chart with 58 followed again by the USA with 28, Australia 3, Germany 3, Netherlands 3, Italy 2, China 1 and Japan 1.

RIO 2015
In last year’s test event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Copacabana Beach, the FIVB World Tour saw Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins win the men’s gold medal and Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca capture the women’s top podium spot.

Rio de Janeiro (River of January in Portuguese) is the second-largest city in Brazil, the sixth-largest city in the Americas and the world’s 39th largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s third-most populous state.

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, Carnival, samba, bossa nova and balneario beaches like Barra Tijuca, Copocabana, Ipanema and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the new seven wonders of the world; Sugarload Mountain with its cable car; the Sambodromo, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and  Maracana Stadium, one of the world’s largest football (soccer) stadiums.

Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics—the first time a South American and Portuguese-speaking nation will host these events, and the third time the Olympics will be held in a Southern Hemisphere city.


Alison and Bruno
Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Alison Cerutti in action at the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in 2015

With a field in both genders filled with Olympians, Olympic hopefuls, FIVB World Champions and the world’s best beach volleyball teams, for the FIVB Rio Grand Slam, the pre-seeded teams read like the roster for Wide World of Sports.

The top-seeded men’s teams are Brazil’s top-seeded defending FIVB World Champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Netherlands’ second-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, USA’s third-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Netherlands’ fourth-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, and Brazil’s fifth-seeded Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg.

The second-five pre-seeds competing in Rio are USA’s sixth-seeded Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser, Latvia’s seventh-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Canada’s eighth-seeded Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, Austria’s ninth-seeded Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst and Germany’s 10th-seeded Jonthan Erdmann/Kay Matysik.

Marking the end of an era, the sports legendary Emanuel Rego of Brazil will be playing in his final FIVB World Tour event. Emanuel is seeded 19th with his iconic compatriot Ricardo Santos.

Emanuel Rego
Emanuel Rego has announced his retirement

For the FIVB Rio Grand Slam, the top pre-seeded women’s teams are Brazil’s top-seeded defending FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil’s second-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Canada’s third-seeded Sarah Pavan/Heather Bansley, Germany’s fourth-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst and Brazil’s ffifh-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima .

The second-five pre-seeded competing in Rio are Australia’s sixth-seeded Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Netherland’s seventh-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, USA’s eighth-seeded April Walsh/Kerri Walsh Jennings, USA’s ninth-seeded Lauren Fendrick Brooke Sweat and Germany’s 10th-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Buthe,

The gold medal teams at the FIVB Rio Grand Slam will split $57,000 and 800 points, the silver $43,000 and 720 points, the bronze $32,000 640 points and fourth place $24,000 and 560 points.

As the host nation for the FIVB Rio Grand Slam, Brazil has four men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw for this event, two teams in the qualification tournament and two reserve teams. Brazil’s men’s main draw teams are top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Oscar Bruno Schmidt, fifth-seeded Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, 19th-seeded Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos and 14th-seeded Vitor Felipe/Alvaro Filho.

Entered in the men’s qualification tournament from Brazil are Saymon Santos/Gustavo Carvalhaes and Allison Francioni/Vinicius Costa. The two men’s reserve teams are Bruno de Paula/Hevaldo Moreira and Andre Stein/Oscar Brandao.

Emanuel Rego
Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk (right) and Barbara Seixas celebrate a victory at the Maceio Open

As the host nation for the FIVB Rio Grand Slam, Brazil has four women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw for this event, two teams in the qualification tournament and two reserve teams. Brazil’s women’s main draw teams are top-seeded defending FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, second-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, fifth-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima and 12th-seeded Maria Antonelli/Liliane Maestrini.

Entered in the women’s qualification tournament from Brazil are FIVB Maceió Open gold medal winners Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia and Carolina/Maximo/Ana Patricia Ramos. The two women’s reserve teams from Brazil are Josemari Alves/Vanilda Leao and Camila Fonseca/Izabel Santos.

Placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continue for the next two weeks in Brazil. The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumes with the FIVB Rio Grand Slam (March 8-13) followed by the FIVB Vitoria Open (March 15-20). In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio and Vitoria will be the FIVB Fortaleza Open (April 26-May 1) and concluding with the 2016 Rio Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

The FIVB Rio Grand Sam in Brazil will be the 335th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 297th FIVB women’s tournament since they started competition in 1992.

FIVB 2016
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar featured a purse of US$8.8 million with a season that extended from last October to this October, competing at 23 venues in 13 countries. The schedule includes five FIVB Grand Slams, three Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 14 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).

The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.

The Olympic qualification process began in 2015 with all FIVB World Tour events (except the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 up until June 13, 2016 counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on Copacabana Beach in Brazil in August. Counting the FIVB Rio Grand Slam, 11 men’s and nine women’s events remain on the Olympic qualifying calendar for the FIVB World Tour.

The five FIVB Grand Slam and three Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions on the 2016 schedule, all double-gender, each have $800,000 in total purses. The total of $500,000 will be the purse for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams in each gender and two wild card teams.

The 14 FIVB Open tournaments on 2016 calendar, 11 double-gender, and three men’s only, have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.

The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series events split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Open tournaments each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.

Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.

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