LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND, September 5, 2008 - Beach Volleyball pairs from Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany and Norway netted SWATCH FIVB World Tour “final four” berths Friday at international Beach Volleyball in Mallorca and Poland, respectively.
With the 2008 SWATCH-FIVB Junior World Championships by Nivea Sun for players under the age of 21 being staged this week in Brighton, England, the SWATCH FIVB World Tour continued at two sites Friday with Myslowice hosting the women in Poland and the Mediterranean island of Mallorca staging a men stop with each tournament featuring US$175,000 in prize money.
The finals for both SWATCH FIVB World Tour events is set Sunday with the winning teams sharing the $28,000 first-place prizes. While the women’s semi-finals are set for Saturday in Myslowice, the men’s ”final four” matches will be played Sunday at the Plaza de Toros in Palma de Mallorca.
In Myslowice, third-seeded Sona Novakova/Tereza Tobiasova of the Czech Republic and fifth-seeded Nila Ann Hakedal/Ingrid Torlen of Norway earned “final four” berths with wins over teams from Brazil and Sweden, respectively. While the Norwegians are playing in their second-straight SWATCH FIVB World Tour semi-final after placing second last week in Kristiansand, Norway, the Czech pair will be playing in their first-ever “final four” together.
Novakova and Tobiasova scored a 14-21, 21-18 and 15-8 semi-final-qualifying win in 50 minutes over second-seeded Maria Antonelli and Vanilda Leão of Brazil. In advancing to their fifth SWATCH “final four” in 83 FIVB together, Hakedal and Torlen posted a 21-14 and 21-19 win in 46 minutes over 24th-seeded Karin Lundquist and Angelica Ljungquist of Sweden.
Teams from Brazil and Germany are also competing for the other two women’s semi-final berths. The fourth-seeded Salgado sisters (Carolina and Maria Clara) join top-seeded Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly as the other two Brazilian teams in the Myslowice “elite” eight”. Germany is represented by sixth-seeded Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig and seventh-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler.
In Mallorca, third-seeded Harley Marques and Pedro Salgado of Brazil and fourth-seeded Jonas Reckermann and Mischa Urbatzka of Germany advanced to the semi-finals with wins over teams from Germany and Brazil, respectively.
The top-ranked team on the 2008 SWATCH FIVB World Tour, Harley and Salgado gained a spot in their 15th international “final four’ in 32 international starts together with a 21-12, 14-21 and 15-10 win in 53 minutes over second-seeded David Klemperr and Eric Koreng of Germany.
In advancing to a SWATCH semi-final for the fourth time in 25 FIVB events together, Reckermann and Urbatzka scored a 17-21, 21-19 and 15-7 win in 63 minutes over eighth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Franco Neto of Brazil. While Harley and Salgado have won seven FIVB titles, Reckermann and Urbatzka are winless in three SWATCH gold medal appearances.
Brazil and Germany still have other teams competing for Mallorca semi-final spots along with the 20th-seeded French brothers Andy and Kevin Ces. Brazilians still in the “elite eight” are sixth-seeded Joao Maciel/Bruno Oscar Schmidt and 10th-seeded Marcio Araujo/Fabio Magalhaes, the silver medalists at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The third German entry remaining is top-seeded Julius Brink and Christoph Dieckmann.
After this week’s competition, the international calendar takes a week off before the SWATCH FIVB World Tour returns to Brazil for the 22nd-straight season for a double gender event September 15-20 in Guarujà.
The 2008 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar concludes with double gender events in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, October 5-11) and China (Sanya, November 10-16). Single gender events will also be staged in Bahrain for men (Manama, October 27-November 1) and Thailand for women (Phuket, November 4-9).