FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

German Glee on Copacabana

Chantal Laboureur celebrates a Pool E win for Germany over Brazil with Julia Sude Wednesday during action at the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam on iconic Copacabana.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 9, 2016 - It was a day for the German women’s beach volleyball teams as four pairs from the European country combined to win seven of eight matches here Wednesday during the opening two pool play rounds at the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam on the Copacabana site where the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be played.

The teams of fourth-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst (Pool D), 10th-seeded Germans Karla Borger and Britta Buthe (Pool G) and 27th-seeded qualifier Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude (Pool E) are currently leading their groups with 2-0 records entering Thursday.

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

•    Main draw - Men
•    Main draw - Women


Only 14th-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler (Pool C) suffered a setback Wednesday as the German girls rebounded from a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) loss in 40 minutes to 19th-seeded Emily Day/Jen Kessy of the United States to score a win over 30th-seeded qualifier Mariafe Artacho/Nicole Laird of Australia 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) in 37 minutes.

All four German teams need to win Thursday to clinch their pools with Holtwick and Semmler facing the biggest task against third-seeded and undefeated Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada.  Holtwick and Semmler have never lost to the Canadians in four previous FIVB World Tour matches, including a pair of wins last season in Norway and the United States.


Laura Ludwig
Germany's Laura Ludwig reaches for the Mikasa.

Entering the Rio Grand Slam, Ludwig/Walkenhorst (5,500 points) and Holtwick/Semmler (4,170) are ranked first and seventh, respectively, on the Rio 2016 provisional Olympic ranking list.  Fifteen teams from the FIVB World Tour will qualify for the Summer Games, excluding pairs from Brazil.

The South American country has already secured its two berths (Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas and Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca) in the Olympics due to being the host country and boasting a team that captured the gold medal at the 2015 FIVB World Championships in The Hague.

To improve their qualifying point total for Rio, Ludwig and Walkenhorst need to place ninth-or-higher in the Rio Grand Slam while Holtwick and Semmler need to place 17th-or-higher in the competition.  By winning their pools Thursday, both teams will be guaranteed a ninth in the event.

Laboureur and Sude (3,910) also need to place ninth-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total.  With 12 participations as a team on the FIVB World Tour and/or approved continental championships needed to meet the Olympic requirement, Borger and Buthe (3,900) have now pulled within 10 points of Laboureur and Sude.


Germany's Britta Buthe (left) and Karla Borger.

Borger and Buthe will play one of the featured women’s matches Thursday when they challenge seventh-seeded Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands.  The Dutch rebounded from a three-set morning setback to 26th-seeded qualifiers Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic to defeat 23rd-seeded qualifiers Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa/Elize Maia in two sets.

Duda and Elize Maia defeated Meppelink and Van Iersel for the gold medal two weeks ago at the Maceio Open on the Brazilian eastern coast.  “In Maceio, the Brazilians made all the shots,” said Meppelink.  “The Brazilians were not as sharp tonight with their shots.  We also learned a lot about from the Maceio match and played a lot better tonight.”

Thursday’s meeting will be the fifth on the FIVB World Tour between the two teams with the series tied 2-2.  One of the Dutch victories was by forfeit due to back problems for Borger.  The two teams played last May for a gold medal in Switzerland with Borger and Buthe topping the podium with a three-set win in Lucerne.


Joining the three German teams and the Canadians as pool leaders after Wednesday’s matches are top-seeded Agatha/Barbara (Pool A), second-seeded Talita/Larissa (Pool B), 12th-seeded Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska of Poland (Pool E) and eighth-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States (Pool H).

The women complete pool play Thursday mid-day with 16 matches.  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.

The Rio Grand Slam is the third of five Olympic qualifying events being staged in the South American country with the final two tournaments being next week in Vitoria (March 15-20) and at Fortaleza (April 26-May 1).  The Rio Grand Slam is the fourth event on the women’s FIVB World Tour calendar for the 2015-2016 season.

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