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World class field includes former champs from Brazil, Germany, USA at next month’s 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships

posted May 16, 2011, 4:22 PM by Laurie Peterka
Germany's Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann beat Alison and Harley of Brazil in the 2009 final
Reprinted from FIVB e-news, May 16, 2011
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 14, 2011 - Led by reigning champions Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann of Germany along with Jennifer Kessy/April Ross of the United States as well as several other former champions, the world’s top teams from 39 countries have officially entered next month’s $1million FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships to be held for the first time in Rome, June 13-19. The internationally-televised eighth FIVB Swatch World Championships will feature 48 teams in each gender competing on purpose-built sand courts at the historic Parco del Foro Italico in the heart of the Eternal City.

With both genders competing on each of the seven-day championships, the event begins with 12 pools of four teams in each playing the other three teams in their respective pools. The top two teams from each pool along with the best eight third place teams will advance to the 32-team single-elimination phase of the tournament. Pool play matches for each gender will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (June 13-15) followed by the 32-team elimination rounds on Thursday and Friday (June 16-17). The semifinals will be held on Saturday evening, June 18 with the medal matches set for Sunday evening, June 19.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011 presenting international beach volleyball events, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, based in Lausanne, Switzerland returns for the third consecutive season to Rome and the FIVB Swatch World Tour has had at least one event in Italy since 1989 except for 1993, 1994 and 2002. The FIVB Swatch World Championships at the Parco del Foro Italico will mark the 17th time a men’s event has been held in Italy and the 10th time for the women. Built on the grounds of the Stadio Olympico from the 1960 Rome Olympics, the magnificent Parco del Foro Italico is a major international tennis and sports complex being converted for use as a beach volleyball complex for the FIVB Swatch World Championships. The venue, artistically designed and completed in stages between 1928 and 1938, will have five competition courts with the featured centre court being in the 10,000-seat main tennis stadium at the Foro Italico.

The previous FIVB Swatch World Championships in the current format were held in Los Angeles (1997), Marseille, France (1999), Klagenfurt, Austria (2001), Rio de Janeiro (2003), Berlin (2005), Gstaad, Switzerland (2007) and Stavanger, Norway (2009). The first FIVB World Championships were held in Brazil in 1987, prior to the start of the current format that began in 1997.

“With the 2012 London Olympic qualifying process underway, the sheer beauty of the venue, the amazing abilities of the athletes and the backdrop of such a remarkable city like Rome, this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships has all of the ingredients to be the most memorable of the eight Championships the FIVB has presented,” said Dr. Ary Graca, president of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Commission. “The competition on this year’s FIVB Swatch World Tour has been fierce. And it is only a fore shadow of what people will be able to witness in Rome in June. These gladiators will fight ferociously for every point in an attempt to win the coveted FIVB Swatch World Champion title.”

Echoing the sentiments of Dr. Graca, Italian Volleyball Federation president Carlo Magri said, “We are looking to organize the best ever World Championships in FIVB history. Hosting the FIVB’s premier beach volleyball event is a great honor and provides an outstanding opportunity for Italian beach volleyball and the Italian public to see the world’s best stars in the heart of one of Rome’s most inspirational venues.”

With less than 30 days before the start of this year’s FIVB Swatch World Championships, the 39 countries with teams officially entered in next month’s 2011 FIVB Swatch World Championships by the May 13 deadline are Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, and Venezuela. Based on several criteria, the final field of 48 teams for each gender will be announced on May 30.

The other former men’s FIVB World Champions competing this year are 2008 Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States, who won the FIVB Swatch World Championships in 2007, along with four Brazilians who are playing this year with different partners. Leading the contingent from Brazil is Emanuel, who won in the title in both 2003 and 1999, Marcio and Fabio, who won together in 2005 and Ricardo who won with Emanuel in 2003. This year Emanuel is teamed with Alison while Marcio is paired with Ricardo and Fabio is partnered with Joao.  Dalhausser/Rogers, who set a men’s FIVB record last year by winning nine gold medals en route to winning the season title, have also won a men’s FIVB record 35 consecutive matches after starting this season with two gold medals and a perfect 12-0 match record.

Two of the three men’s medal teams return in tact from the 2009 FIVB Swatch World Championships and the third team members are entered, but with different partners.  All three women’s medal teams from the championships in Stavanger, Norway will be playing together again in Rome.

Germany’s Brink/Reckermann, tied for second in points currently on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour, won the 2009 gold medal by defeating Brazil’s Alison/Harley and the bronze medal winners were USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers. Harley is competing this season with Thiago.

The other former women’s gold medal team scheduled to play together in Rome is two-time Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh of the United States. Playing together again this season for the first time since they won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing gold medal, May-Treanor/Walsh are three-time FIVB Swatch World Championship gold medalists (2003, 2005 and 2007). May-Treanor/Walsh, who had their FIVB women’s record match winning streak halted at 74 in this year’s gold medal match by Brazil’s Juliana/Larissa, had to forfeit their semifinal match in Sanya, China two weeks ago because May-Treanor injured her knee. May-Treanor was diagnosed with a reportedly mild MCL sprain and is expected to resume playing again the week prior to Rome.

USA’s Kessy/Ross defeated Brazil’s Juliana/Larissa in the 2009 FIVB Swatch World Championships, who have won the season title five of the last six years and currently have earned a women’s FIVB record 38 career gold medals, while the bronze medal winning team in Stavanger was Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes. Juliana/Larissa started this season with two gold medals and a fifth place finish last week in Shanghai. Kessy/Ross won last year’s Rome Grand Slam held at the same Foro Italico site as this year’s world championships and Juliana/Larissa won the last two women’s events held in Italy, 2006 in Modena and 2005 in Milan.

The gold medal teams in the Rome will split $60,000, the silver $45,000 and the bronze $35,000. For more information on the FIVB, visit and on the event, visit

All roads lead to Rome, it has been said, and before these athletes find their way to the Italian capital, each gender has two more events. The genders will compete in separate countries this week  With the men having held two events and the women three so far in 2011, The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour is scheduled over an eight-month period starting in April in Brazil and ending in November in Thailand.  This week, the women are competing in Poland at the $190,000 Myslowice Open, the fourth overall event of 15 and second of three single gender events for women on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour calendar.  The men will be competing through Sunday in the Prague Open in the Czech Republic. Following the events in Poland and the Czech Republic, the FIVB Swatch World Tour will have two weeks off before resuming in China at the double-gender $600,000 Beijing Grand Slam, June 6-11, the first of six Grand Slam events on the 2011 calendar. After Beijing, the athletes will be heading to Rome.

The 2011 calendar features 15 women's and 14 men's events within all five FIVB confederations plus one special 24-team single-gender women’s test event held August 9-14 at London’s Horse Guards Parade, the venue for beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour is offering $7.64-million in prize money. Twelve of the tournaments are combined men's and women's events, including the World Championships and all six Grand Slam stops.

After the FIVB Swatch World Championships, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour takes one week off before it continues with three consecutive Grand Slam double-gender events: June 27 to July 3 in Stavanger, Norway (ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger 2011), July 4-9 in Gstaad, Switzerland (1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam) and July 11-16 in Moscow (Moscow Grand Slam). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is US$600,000. Also on the international calendar during this window and immediately following the FIVB Swatch World Championships will be the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Youth World Championships, for players under 19 years old, June 21-26 in Umag, Croatia.

Here is the list of teams officially entered, by country, in this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships: Men    Women

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