FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Moscow Grand Slam 2016 | 24 - 29 mai 2016


Press release

Pool watching at Moscow’s Beach event

Katrin Holtwice (center) and Ilka Semmler (right) of Germany are seeking a spot in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with this week's Moscow Grand Slam being an important event.

Moscow, Russia, May 25, 2016 - It will be a day of Beach Volleyball here Wednesday with the spectators and interested observers “pool” watching at the US$800,000 Moscow Grand Slam where several group matches will have Olympic implications for the Rio 2016 Summer Games.

After a day of qualifying for 30 men’s and 24 women’s pairs where eight teams per gender advanced to the “money” rounds in the FIVB World Tour stop at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Centre, Wednesday’s 32-women and 16-men match schedule is the first of two days of “pool play” that will set the field for the weekend’s elimination and medal confrontations.

Women’s Pools B, D, G and H will have the most impact for Olympic qualifying where the top 15 pairs from the FIVB World Tour, excluding Brazilians, with a maximum of two teams per country, will secure spots in the Copacabana quadrennial to be played August 6-18 on the iconic beach.  Men’s Pools A, B, C and D will also draw attention in the “Road to Rio” race.

Here’s the “poolside” view of the key group matches as the top three pairs from each pool advance to Friday’s elimination rounds with the top team netting a first-round “bye” and a guaranteed ninth that will provide possible Olympic-improving points.


Women’s Pool B - Germany has two teams vying for their country’s No. 2 Olympic berth with Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler from the European nation playing in a group with teams from Brazil, Italy and Russia.  Holtwick and Semmler (4,770 Olympic qualifying points) trail Karla Borger/Britta Buthe (4,920) by 150 points entering Moscow Grand Slam play.  Both need to place ninth-or-higher to improve their Rio ranking total as a team’s best 12 finishes during the qualifying process since April 2015 are counted for Copacabana consideration.  Holtwick and Semmler are seeking their second Olympic berth after placing ninth at the London 2012 Summer Games.

Women’s Pool D - Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug of Argentina (4,150) are No. 15 on the list with a 270-point lead over Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova (3,830).  The Argentineans, who need to place ninth-or-higher to improve their Rio ranking total, will be competing in a Moscow pool with pairs from Germany, Russia and Spain.

Women’s Pool G - With Borger and Buthe in close competition with Holtwick and Semmler for the second German berth in Rio, the pair is competing in a pool with pairs from the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

Women’s Pool H - At one time, Birlova and Ukolova were within 100 points of Gallay and Klug, but the Russian pair failed to improve their Copacabana point collection at FIVB World Tour stops early in May at Sochi and Antalya, Turkey.  Birlova and Ukolova will be competing against Australian and Finnish teams in their group as the Russian pair needs to place ninth-or-higher in the Moscow Grand Slam to improve their Rio ranking total.
Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova (left) and Evgeniya Ukolova


In the men’s competition, the German pairs of Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen (4,610 Olympic qualifying points) and Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik (4,490) are No. 14 and No. 15 on the Copacabana list ahead of Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen (4,430) and Canadian Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter (4,250).  All four teams need to place ninth-or-higher in Moscow to improve their Rio ranking total.

Fluggen, who has been hampered by a left knee injury, and Bockermann are playing in Pool B with pairs from Israel, Poland and the United States.  Matysik, who has also been battling the injury bug, and Erdmann are Pool C contestants with teams from Italy, Russia and the United States.  Binstock and Schachter are in Pool A with teams from Brazil, Latvia and Poland while Ontiveros and Virgen compete in Pool D with tandems from Brazil, Greece and Italy.
Lars Fluggen of Germany

Quick links
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Moscow Grand Slam
Men - Entry List
Women - Entry List
Men - Event Schedule
Women - Event Schedule

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