Porec, Croatia, June 30, 2016 - While the women’s Porec Major Main Draw field features 14 Rio-bound Olympic pairs, the men’s lineup for the the second of five SWATCH Major Series events this season has 15 participants in the “money” rounds that are headed to Copacabana in five weeks.
With the women playing two rounds of pool play here Wednesday on courts located at three different sites in this Croatian coastal resort town, the gender’s Copacabana entries compiled a 17-11 record with five leading their groups entering Thursday’s final set of matches.
The US$800,000 Porec Major is the first of three FIVB World Tour events on the schedule prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to be played August 6-18 on iconic Copacabana. Headlining the men’s field this week are Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil and Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands.
Alison and Bruno finished first on the qualifying ranking list for Rio with the Dutch No. 2. Brouwer and Meeuwsen are also the defending Porec Major gold medal winners. In addition to the Rio rankings, both teams are the past two FIVB world champions with Brouwer and Meeuwsen topping the podium in 2013 in Poland with Alison and Bruno the 2015 winners in The Hague.
Here are the Porec Major pools where the Rio-bound pairs are situated as the men’s event will feature 36 group matches Thursday with the last 16 being played Friday morning. The men’s first-round of elimination will be played Friday afternoon as the pool winners will earn a “bye” and will play their first “knockout” match Saturday.
• Pool A - Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Brazil; Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri, Italy; Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, Poland
• Pool B - Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands; Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, Austria
• Pool C - Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, United States; Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen, Mexico
• Pool D - Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, United States; Alexander Huber/Robin Seidl, Austria
• Pool E - Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Latvia
• Pool F - Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, Canada; Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, Netherlands
• Pool G - Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, Poland; Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Brazil
• Pool H - Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera
Here are the women’s pool leaders with each pair winning two matches each Wednesday with one contest remaining Thursday mid-day to set the field for the first-round of elimination in the afternoon (Olympic-bound teams)
• Pool A - Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil (Talita/Larissa, Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada, 1-1 record)
• Pool B - Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany (Ludwig/Walkenhorst)
• Pool C - Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil (Agatha/Barbara, Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, Spain, 1-1 record)
• Pool D - Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Canada (Bansley/Pavan, Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, Italy, 1-1 record)
• Pool E - Fernanda Alves/Josemari Alves, Brazil (Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands, 1-1 record, Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat, United States, 0-2 record)
• Pool F - Vasiliki Arvaniti/Penny Karagkouni, Greece (Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Australia, 0-2 record, Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland, 1-1 record)
• Pool G - Karla Borger/Britta Buthe, Germany (Borger/Buthe, Fan Wang/Yuan Yue, China, 1-1 record)
• Pool H - Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli, Switzerland (Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland, 1-1 record)
The women’s “final four” contests will be played Saturday followed by the men’s semi-finals and medal matches Sunday. The winning women’s and men’s pairs will share the $57,000 first-place prizes.