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Beach Volleyball - 04. May 2010.

German teams advance through women’s Country Quota at Shanghai Open


In an all-German Country Quota match Tuesday, Claudia Lehmann, left, attempts to hit through Julia Sude's block attempt. Sude and her partner Jana Kohler won the match.

Shanghai, China, May 4, 2010 – Two of five German women’s Beach Volleyball teams advanced Tuesday by winning Country Quota matches to set the final field for Wednesday’s women’s qualification tournament at the $US380,000 Shanghai Open presented by City Beach as the Chinese port city is hosting the international Beach Volleyball community this week in the Jinshan District for the seventh-straight year. This is the second event of the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

With two teams already pre-seeded into the 32-team main draw, the two German teams that survived their country quota matches to advance to the qualifier were: Jana Kohler and Julia Sude and Anja Gunther and Geeske Banck.

With Shanghai also hosting the 2010 World Expo which opened last Friday, the colorful opening ceremonies for the Shanghai Open were held Tuesday morning on the center court of the Jinshan City Beach complex during the men’s qualification tournament. FIVB President Jizhong Wei was the honored guest along with several Chinese government officials.

With three Country Quota matches held on an extremely windy Tuesday at City Beach, two of the three went three sets in the battles of country rivals.

Gunther and Banck advanced with a two-set victory over compatriots Rieke Brink-Abeler and Angelina Grun, 21-17 and 21-19 in 36 minutes. Brink-Abeler and Grun, making her transition to the beach from indoor, had advanced to the elimination match with an earlier three-set elimination win over Julia Grossner and Frederike Fisher.

Losing the first set as well, Kohler and Sude advanced by coming from behind to defeat Claudia Lehmann and Chantall Laboureur, 15-21, 21-19 and 15-8 in 44 minutes.

The medal matches for the US$380,000 Shanghai Open will be played Saturday for men and Sunday for women at the Jinshan Beach Volleyball Complex. With the Shanghai stop being the second of 12 double gender stops on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar, the winning teams will share the $30,000 first-place prizes.

While a new Shanghai Open men’s champion will be crowned this week, Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes of Brazil won the women’s gold medal in Shanghai last season by defeating Jie Wang and Man Zuo of China 21-17 and 21-13. It was Talita’s second Shanghai title as Women’s play continues Wednesday with the qualifier and the Main Draw’s first rounds on Thursday.

A total of 68 men’s and 62 women’s teams from 35 countries are competing in the Shanghai Open presented by City Beach, the second of 12-double-gender events on the 2010 scheduled. In Shanghai are tandems from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukraine, the United States and Venezuela.

After the Shanghai stop, the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar continues with a double gender event in Rome (May 17-23) for the season’s first grand slam event.  Seoul (women) and Myslowice (men) host single-gender events May 25-30. After a week break, Moscow hosts the second grand slam event on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

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