Marseille, France, July 19, 2010 - Country quota playoff matches for women’s teams from Germany opened play here Monday as the SWATCH FIVB World Tour returns to the Mediterranean port city for the 16th season of international Beach Volleyball competition.
Posting Germany country quota playoff wins Monday were Rieke Brink-Abeler/Angelina Grun and Jana Kohler/Julia Sude. Karla Borger and Britta Buthe, who placed second at this past weekend’s European Challenger/Satellite event in Bulgaria, won their opening match Monday before being eliminated by Kohler and Sude in two sets.
Both Brink-Abeler/Grun and Kohler/Sude were each competing in their seventh country quota round this season. Brink-Abeler and Grun have now been successful in their last three country quota playoffs after being eliminated in their first three attempts this season in Brazil, China and Korea. Kohler and Sude have posted five positive CQ advancements with a string of three-straight successes.
France will have one team competing in Tuesday’s qualifier as the host country has already placed the pairs of Mathilde Giordano/Eva Hamzaoui, Emma Larche/Laura Longuet and Mélody Benhamou/Deborah Giaoui in the Main Draw. Playing in the Qualification Tournament for a possible fourth French spot in the “money” rounds are Marion Castelli and Cecile Rigaux.
The 2010 World Series 13 will be the 13th women’s event in Marseille where 25 teams from six countries have netted podium spots since the first tournament in 1997. Led by legendary Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede, the women from the South American country have collected 20 medals and six titles.
Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau won the only German women’s title on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour as the two-time Olympic pair captured the top podium spot in 2008 in the final qualifying event before the Beijing Summer Games. Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig became the second German pair to place on the Marseille podium with a bronze medal finish in 2009 by defeating Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes in the third place match.
After the Marseille stop, the season’s final SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slam stops will be held in Austria (Klagenfurt, July 26-August 1) and Poland (Stare Jablonki, August 2-8). Open events will conclude the European portion of the international season with stops in Norway (Kristiansand, August 9-15), Finland (Aland, August 16-22) and The Netherlands (The Hague, August 23-29).
photos Janos Schmidt