Berlin, Germany, July 10, 2007
With their 21-14 and 21-13 win in 36 minutes over Shaylyn and Agatha, Carolina and Maria Clara have secured the seeded spot in the Qualification Tournament for the third of five “major” events on the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour calendar.
After the match, the Brazilian sisters joined their mother (Isabella) in watching their brother’s (Pedro) attempt to win his country quota matches with Harley Marques against Bruno De Paula and Benjamin Insfran as the SWATCH circuit returns to the German capital after missing from the 2006 FIVB schedule due to the European country’s host role for the World Cup of Soccer.
Tuesday meeting marked the fifth country quota match between the two teams this season with the Salgados now holding a 3-2 edge. The two tandems had also faced each other in the last three SWATCH stops in Paris, Norway and Canada with Shaylyn and Agatha tying the season series last week in Montreal with a 22-20 and 21-18 win.
“It’s another 3-in-1 tournament for us,” said the 24-year old Maria Clara. “We face three different competitions within one event as we have to play in the country quota and qualifying rounds to earn a spot in the Main Draw. It’s tough for the Brazilians, but at least we get an extra day on the court. However, the pressure is tremendous and the disappointment huge when you lose.”
The ninth SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop in 2007 for both men and women, the Smart Grand Slam is being played at three sites, including the Washingtonplatz (D-10557 Berlin, in front of the main station), Bundespressestrand (Kappellen-Ufer 1, D-10117 Berlin) and the Beach Mitte (Caroline-Michaelis-Str. / Julie-Wolfthorn Str., D-10115 Berlin).
The sixth of 13 double gender events on the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour calendar, the Smart Grand Slam “officially” starts Wednesday with the Qualification Tournaments for both men and women to determine the final eight spots for each 32-team Main Draws.
The Smart Grand Slam “money” rounds begin Thursday and run through Saturday for women and Sunday for men when the final two teams will compete for the $43,500 first-place prizes. The Main Draws for the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event will feature three rounds of pool play followed by a single-elimination play where the top three teams from each group will advance to a 24-team bracket to determine the gold medal winners.
After placing four teams in the Main Draw, host Germany is scheduled to have three other teams seeking spots in the “money” rounds, including Geeske Banck/Susanne Lahme, Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler and Claudia Lehmann/Julia Sude. German Beach Volleyball teams in the women’s Main Draw are Stephanie Pohl/Okka Rau, Rieke Brink-Abeler/Hella Jurich, Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig and Helke Claasen/Antje Roder.
Te 12th annual Smart Grand Slam also marks the 200th men’s Beach Volleyball stop since the start of the international circuit in 1987. Starting with a February 17-22, 1987, tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the men’s event count includes FIVB “open, grand slam, world championships, Olympic and Goodwill Games” competitions.
Michael Bradley Photography