FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

Germans continue Copacabana charm

Two-time German Olympian Laura Ludwig (right) expresses her Copacabana charm in a Thursday midday match on Copacabana against Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 10, 2016 - The German women maintained their dominance on Copacabana here Thursday by winning three pools as host Brazil netted two group titles with Canada, Poland and the United States the other cluster victors at the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam.

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

•    Main draw - Men
•    Main draw - Women

The German teams of fourth-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst (Pool D), 10th-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Buthe (Pool G) and 27th-seeded qualifier Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude (Pool E) won their final pool play matches Thursday to earn a bye for the first round of elimination to be played Friday morning on the same site where the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be played.

Germany's Chantal Laboureur stretches out to reach the Mikasa

“That is great,” said Ludwig when asked about the success of her compatriots on Copacabana this week that have compiled a 13-1 match mark against international competition. “We are a very competitive group that has worked hard to play at a high level.  Playing well here on Copacabana where all the great teams are assembled this week is terrific for the Germans. It is still early in the tournament, so I am hopeful we can all continue playing well through the elimination rounds the next two days to meet in the medal matches.”

With 3-0 records in their pools, the three Germans teams earned a bye to the second round of elimination and are guaranteed a ninth this week. Only 14th-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler (Pool C) suffered a setback in pool play this week, but the veteran German team finished second in their group to advance to the first round of elimination.

Germany has never had three teams in a women’s FIVB World Tour semifinals. The European country has had two pairs reach seven final fours since the start of the women’s FIVB sanctioned events in 1992. Ludwig/Walkenhorst and Holtwick/Semmler finished second and third in the 2014 Polish Grand Slam in late August at Stare Jablonki. A month earlier in the Swiss Alps village of Gstaad, Holtwick and Semmler defeated Borger and Buthe in the 2014 gold medal match.

Only Brazil (47 times), the United States (17) and China (1) have advanced three teams to a women’s FIVB World Tour final four.  The Brazilians have occupied all four semifinal spots in three different tournaments.

Brazilians winning groups Thursday were top-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas (Pool A) and second-setted Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca (Pool B). Other pool leaders were third-seeded Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan of Canada (Pool C), 12th-seeded Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska of Poland (Pool E) and eighth-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States (Pool H).

Ross and Walsh Jennings
USA's April Ross (left) and Kerri Walsh celebrate

Agatha/Barbara, Talita/Larissa and Ross/Walsh Jennings joined the Germans in posting 3-0 pool play records. Despite losing Thursday to Holtwick and Semmler, Bansley and Pavan secured the group title and the bye due to point ratio among the four teams in Pool C. Same story for Brzostek and Kolosinska, who lost to fifth-seeded Brazilians Juliana Felisberta and Taiana Lima, but had the better point ratio among the three tying teams in Pool E with 2-1 records.

With the top three pairs in the eight four-team pools advancing to Friday’s two rounds of elimination play, the second and third place finishers in each group will play morning matches with the winners playing in the afternoon against the bye tandems .

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. Sunday’s gold medal teams will each share the $57,000 first-place prizes while the silver medal pairs will split $43,000.

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).

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