FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin prove competitiveness on Copacabana

Bumping Mikasa is Artem Yarzutkin (left) as Russian partner Oleg Stoyanovskiy follows the action.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 8, 2016 - With the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam being the 20th of 30 Olympic qualifying events on the FIVB World Tour for men since April 2015, Tuesday’s competition on iconic Copacabana featured 32 competitive teams seeking Main Draw berths for Wednesday’s pool play rounds.

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

Eight teams advanced from the qualifying rounds to the “money” rounds where the 32-team Main Draws for both men and will be played on five Copacabana courts.  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 semi-finals will be played Saturday on the seaside courts with the medal matches scheduled for Sunday morning.


Tuesday’s featured match pitted the 18th-seeded Saymon Barbosa and Gustavo Carvalhaes of Brazil against second-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin of Russia.   The Brazilians posted bronze medal finishes at the last two FIVB World Tour stops in Brazil while the 19-year old Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin captured the silver medal at the international stops on Kish Island in Iran three weeks ago.

Playing in front of family, friends and fans, Saymon and Guto were ousted by the Russians with a 2-1 (22-20, 21-23, 15-10) win in 45 minutes.  “Unbelievable,” was the first word out of Stoyanovskiy’s mouth when talking about defeating the Brazilians.  “They are a very tough team to play anywhere in the world, so we are very fortunate to defeat them here.  We made the plays at the end as they missed a sure point at a key time in the third set.”

Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin were the second Russian team to qualify for the Main Draw as 21st-seeded Dmitri Barsouk/Nikita Liamin upset fifth-seeded Ryan Doherty/John Mayer of the United States 2-0 (22-20, 21-16) in 35 minutes to gain a spot in the “money” rounds.


Alexei Strasser of Switzerland in action at the net

Posting break-through performances to reach the men’s Main Draw were 14th-seeded Nico Beeler/Alexei Strasser of Switzerland, 20th-seeded Rihards Finsters/Edgars Tocs of Latvia and 27th-seeded Jeremy Casebeer/Derek Olson of the United States.

Beeler and Strasser eliminated third-seeded Tri Bourne/Mark Burik of the United States 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in 35 minutes.  Bourne was originally entered in the Rio Grand Slam with John Hyden, who withdrew due to back program.  Bourne and Burik eliminated the first of two host country teams in the qualifier as the Americans posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) in 35 minutes over 30th-seeded Allison Cittadin/Vinicius Rezende.

Finsters and Tocs won the All-Latvian advancement match by ousting fourth Martins Plavins/Haralds Regza 2-1 (24-22, 24-26, 15-13) in Tuesday’s longest match (61 minutes).  Casebeer and Olson, who had to win a country quota match Monday, advanced to the “money” rounds with wins over sixth-seeded Jackson Henriquez/Jesus Villafane of Venezuela and 22nd-seeded Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman of Israel.

Other teams advancing to the Main Draw were top-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland, seventh-seeded Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse of Qatar and ninth-seeded Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe of Turkey.


Led by the legendary tandem Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, Brazil will have four men’s teams 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 medallist announced his retirement 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.

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