FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

Playing again on Copacabana

Jeremy Casebeer dives for the Mikasa

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 7, 2016 - For the second straight season on the FIVB World Tour and the 16th time since the start of international beach volleyball competition in 1987, the world’s best players are back in the Brazilian coastal city for the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam.

The competition officially starts here Tuesday on iconic Copacabana with qualifying action in the sixth men’s and fourth women’s event on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour calendar.  The final tune-up for this week’s event was played Monday afternoon where men’s and women’s pairs competed in Country Quota matches on the same site where the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be played in 150 days.

Quick links
•    Rio Grand Slam website
•    Country quota results - Men
•    Country quota results - Women

Capturing American Country Quota matches were Jeremy Casebeer/Derek Olson and Lane Carico/Summer Ross. Casebeer and Olson scored a 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) win in 35 minutes over Ryan Doherty/John Mayer while Carico and Ross were victorious 2-0 (22-20, 21-18) in 42 minutes over Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar.

Olson serves the Mikasa

The victories advanced Casebeer/Olson and Carico/Ross to Tuesday’s men’s and women’s qualifiers, respectively. The losers still have an opportunity to compete in the preliminary round if the qualifiers do not have a full-field of 32 entries with Doherty/Mayer and Fopma/Hochevar netting “lucky losers” berth.

Eight teams will advance from the qualifying rounds to Wednesday’s opening “money” rounds where the 32-team Main Draws for both genders feature pool play. The top three finishers in the eight four-team pools will advance to Friday’s two rounds of elimination play. The men’s and women’s quarter and semifinals will be played Saturday on the seaside courts with the medal matches scheduled for Sunday morning.

The 2016 Rio Grand Slam is the second of four FIVB World Tour events in Brazil this season. All four events are Rio 2016 Olympic qualification events starting with the Maceio Open two weeks ago. After the Rio Grand Slam, the FIVB World Tour plays next week in Vitoria (March 15-20) with the fourth and final stop being at the end of April in Fortaleza (April 26-May 1).

Winners of the Maceio Open (February 23-28) were Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa/Elize Maia of Brazil. Both pairs are entered this week in the Rio Grand Slam with the Americans already qualifying for the men’s Main Draw due to entry points while Duda and Elize Maia will have to qualify for the women’s “money” rounds Tuesday.

The Rio Grand Slam is the second FIVB World Tour on Copacabana in the last six months after the South American country hosted an Olympic “test” event last September where Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins and Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca topped the podiums.

The 2015 Olympic “test” event was the first FIVB World Tour event in Rio since 2004 when Copacabana hosted the season-ending international event in September. Copacabana was also the site of the 2005 FIVB U21 World Championships where Samoilovs and Martins Plavins were the men’s gold medal winners, and in 2003 hosted the FIVB Volleyball Beach Volleyball World Championships which crowned
Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego and Kerri Walsh Jennings/Misty May-Treanor in the men's and women's competitions respectively.

Saymon Barbosa
Saymon Barbosa in action at the Maceió Open

Scheduled to compete for Brazil in Tuesday’s men’s qualifier are Saymon Barbosa/Gustavo Carvalhaes and Allison Cittadin/Vinicius Rezende. Saymon and Guto captured the bronze medal at the Maceio Open. Also competing in the women’s qualifier Tuesday for Brazil will be Carolina Horta/Ana Patricia Silva.

Ana Patrica was Duda’s partner when the pair captured the gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China. Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin, the men’s Nanjing Olympic gold medal winners, will also be competing in Tuesday’s qualifier as the young Russians earned a FIVB World Tour silver month last month on Kish Island in Iran.

Led by the legendary tandem Emanuel/Ricardo, Brazil has four men’s teams already placed in the Main Draw. Emanuel announced that the Rio Grand Slam will be his final FIVB World Tour event as the three-time Olympic Beach Volleyball medalist announced his pending from the sport after this week’s tournament.

Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, who named last September as Brazil’s two men’s entries for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will start competing Wednesay for the host country along with Vitor Felipe/Alvaro Filho. Alison and Bruno are the reigning FIVB world champions after capturing the title last June in The Hague.

Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas and Talita/Larissa, who were also named to the Brazilian Olympic team for Rio, will be joined in the Main Draw Wednesday by compatriots Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima and Maria Antonelli/Liliane Maestrini. Agatha and Barbara captured the women’s gold medal at the 2015 FIVB World Championships.

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