TALKIN’ STATS: 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour—June 14

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 14, 2016 — With 15 more spots, per gender identified last week for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) continues its calendar this week in Poland and we take another quick look at some of the significant stats from its 2016 US$8.8 million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

This week the FIVB World Tour stop is the double-gender $800,000 FIVB Grand Slam in Poland, the only event to be held in Poland this season. The FIVB World Tour ended of its Olympic qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games last week in Hamburg, Germany. This week’s internationally-televised FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland is being played at Crooked Lake courts behind the Hotel Omega.

Through the 2015 event, Poland has hosted a total of 26 FIVB World Tour events (14 men, 12 women) over a 12-year period with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. The four Polish sites of FIVB international events have been Myslowice (two men, two women), Olsztyn (one men, one women), Stare Jablonki (11 men, seven women) and Warsaw (two women).

 In the men’s totals after 14 events, Brazil has 15 medals, followed by the USA with eight, Germany with five each, Spain with three, Latvia with two and with one men’s medal each in Poland are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Switzerland.

After 12 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Poland through 2015, Brazil leads the medal parade with 15 total medals followed by China and Germany with five each, USA with four, Italy and the Netherlands with two each and with one women’s medal each in Poland are Australia, Norway and Poland.

In last year’s first FIVB event held in Olsztyn, the men’s podium included Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt (gold), USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson (silver) and Canada’s Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton (bronze.  The women’s FIVB podium in Olsztyn included Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca (gold), Netherlands’ Madelein Meppelink/Marleen van Iersel (silver) and Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska/Monika Brzostek (bronze).

With 16 men’s and 13 women’s tournaments now completed on the 2016 FIVB World Tour, here are some tantalizing tidbits from last week’s smart FIVB Hamburg Major in Germany (the first of four events on the Swatch FIVB Major Series portion of the 2016 calendar) that are from the scrumptious succulent smorgasbord of superb special selections on the FIVB Beach Volleyball menu:

•    USA Still Perfectly Golden against Netherlands – When Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States met Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in the men’s finals of the smart FIVB Hamburg Major, it was the fourth time that men’s teams from the two countries had squared off in a gold medal match on the FIVB World Tour.  All three previous times, the United States had won, including the same two pairs in the 2016 World Tour Calendar opening event in Puerto Vallarta last October.  In Hamburg, the Americans prevailed again to keep their record perfect against the Dutch in men’s FIVB World Tour gold medal matches.  Phil Dalhausser was also involved in the first meeting between the two countries, winning gold with Todd Rogers against Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil in the 2008 FIVB Paris Grand Slam.  Nummerdor was also a victim in the second meeting, teaming with Christiaan Varenhorst in a loss to Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson in the 2015 FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam.
•    Men’s Players with Best Finish in Hamburg – There was only one men’s player who enjoyed his best main draw finish at the smart FIVB Hamburg Major.
o    Player, Country, Finish, Previous Best
o    Billy Allen, United States, 17th, 33rd (Long Beach, 2015)
•    Men’s Top Rookies for 2016 – In order to qualify as a rookie, a player must not have participated in an FIVB World Tour main draw from a previous season.  In the Swatch FIVB Hamburg Major, the top men’s rookie finisher was Billy Allen of the United States who finished 17th for 120 points.  Other main draw finishers were Germany’s Lorenz Schumann and Julius Thole who each finished 25th for 80 points. Other top finishers were Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric of Serbia who each finished 33rd to earn 40 points.  The men have now held 16 events on the 2016 FIVB World Tour Calendar.  This stat will be updated after each event to track the progress of the top new players.
o    Edgars Tocs, Latvia, 685 points
o    Christian Sorum, Norway, 630
o    Hasan Mermer, Turkey, 455
o    Sefa Urlu, Turkey, 455
o    Stefan Basta, Serbia, 340
o    Lazar Kolaric, Serbia, 340
o    Ahmed Tijan, Qatar, 335
o    Mark Burik, United States, 325
o    Kristoffer Abell, Denmark, 280
o    George Wanderley, Brazil, 270
•    Germany Defeats Brazil for Gold Again – Going into the final of the smart FIVB Hamburg Major, women’s teams from Brazil and Germany had met 16 times in FIVB World Tour gold medal matches.  Only Brazil vs. the United States with 93 and Brazil vs. China with 23 have played more head-to-head finals.  For the first 13 meeting from 1996 through 2014, Brazil held a 12-1 edge, losing only once in Marseille in 2008.  Since that time, Germany has exacted some revenge, winning three of the last four gold-medal meetings, including Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst defeating 2015 World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas in Hamburg, 21-19, 19-21, and 15-12 in 55 hard-fought minutes.  It’s the fourth-straight finals appearance for Ludwig/Walkenhorst against Brazil, winning in the 2016 World Tour Calendar opener in Puerto Vallarta over Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia, losing to Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca in last season’s Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals, and defeating Agatha/Barbara in Yokohama last July.  Laura/Kira also have one other gold medal appearance against Brazil, losing to Carolina and Maria Clara Salgado in the 2013 FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.
•    Top Four Seeds in Final Four – In the smart FIVB Hamburg Major, the top four women’s seeds made it to the final four for just the 26th time in FIVB World Tour history.  In the first ten seasons, from 1996 through 2007, the top four seeds appeared in 19 semi-finals, and after no occurrences in 2008 or 2009, it’s only happened seven times in the last seven seasons.   2010 saw one in Seoul and 2011 had three, followed by one in 2012 at the London Olympic Games.  Since that time, it had only happened once, in the FIVB Rio Open last season.  The top seeds, Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst won the gold medal in Hamburg, the 12th time the top seed has won in a “top four final four,” while the second seed has scored gold five times, the third seed five times, and the fourth seed just four times.
•    Ross/Walsh Jennings Lose Pool Play Match – When Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Liliane Maestrini defeated April Ross/Kerri Walsh in a pool C match at the smart FIVB Hamburg Major, it marked the first pool-play loss for the Americans out of 21 matches in the 2016 World Tour Calendar.  While Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst (20-0) and Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca (15-0) remain perfect in pool play for the 2015-6 season, this is just the third loss for the American duo on the sand in pool play since forming their partnership in 2013.  That first season, they were 8-1, losing to Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Victoria Orsi Toth in their final pool play match of the season in Xiamen where they went on to win the gold medal.  In 2014, the duo won all 30 of their pool play matches and in 2015, they went 18-3, but two of their losses were forfeits due to an injury to Walsh Jennings in Moscow.  Altogether, Ross and Walsh Jennings are 75-5 (93.8%) in pool play matches, and 75-3 (96.2%) in non-forfeit matches.
•    Shortest and Fastest Women’s Match of 2016 – The smart FIVB Hamburg Major featured the shortest and fastest match records for the 2016 World Tour Calendar in the same match.  Sweden’s Karin Lundqvist/Anne Lie Rininsland overcame a 13-21 first-set loss and breezed through the next two sets in record time, 21-6 and 15-6 over Eva Freiberger/Elizabeth Klopf of Austria.  The 82 points and 33 minutes set records for the lowest scoring and fastest three-set match of 2016.  The 82 points ranks third lowest all-time behind a pair of 81-point matches in 2007, and the 33 minutes is tied for second fastest all-time behind a 32 minute match in Marseille back in 2001.  
•    Top Eight Seeds Qualify at Hamburg – At the smart FIVB Hamburg Major, the top eight seeds all won matches and progressed through the qualifier into the main draw for just the fourth time in FIVB World Tour history.  The home nation, Germany, had two teams qualify along with one each from Brazil, China, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia, and the Slovak Republic. The first time the top eight seeds qualified was in 2004 at the FIVB Spain Open in Mallorca, led by two teams each from Italy and Norway.  The second was in the 2012 FIVB Aland Open in Finland where two teams each from Germany and the Netherlands qualified, and the third was last season at the FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam with three teams from Brazil and two from the United States leading the way.  It almost happened again this week in the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland, but the 10th-seeded team defeated the number seven seed in the final qualifying round.
•    Women’s Players with Best Finish in Hamburg – There were no women’s players who enjoyed their best main draw finish at the smart FIVB Hamburg Major.
•    Women’s Top Rookies for 2016 – In the smart FIVB Hamburg Major, the top women’s rookie finishers were Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt and Anne Lie Rininsland of Sweden who each finished 33rd for 40 points.  Anne Lie moved within 20 points of the season lead.  Other rookie top finishers were Austria’s Katharina Almer and Indre Sorokaite of Italy, who each finished 41st for 20 points. The women have now held 13 events on the 2016 FIVB World Tour Calendar.  This stat will be updated after each event to track the progress of the top new players.
o    Chunxia Chen, China, 265 points
o    Anne Lie Rininsland, Sweden, 245
o    Dunja Gerson, Switzerland, 220
o    Maria Julia Benet, Argentina, 215
o    Rebecca Perry, Italy, 185
o    Valentyna Davidova, Ukraine, 180
o    Ievgeniia Shchypkova, Ukraine, 180
o    Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya, Russia, 175
o    Inna Makhno, Ukraine, 160
o    Rebeca Pazo, Venezuela, 150

Qualification on the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is now complete. In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio, Vitoria and Fortaleza, the Brazil events conclude with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

The FIVB World Tour finished its Olympic qualifying last week with the double-gender $800,000 smart FIVB Hamburg Major in Germany. After Hamburg, remaining 2016 FIVB World Tour events prior to the Rio Olympics will be this week’s FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland and three more Swatch FIVB Major Series events. First will be the Swatch FIVB Porec Major Series in Croatia (June 28-July 3), followed by the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major Series in Switzerland (July 5-9) and the Swatch FIVB Klagenfurt Major Series in Austria (July 26-31).

Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, there are three more events scheduled on the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar. First event scheduled is FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (Aug. 23-28), the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals (Sept. 13-18, location TBA) and the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open in Mexico (Oct. 11-16). All three are double-gender events.

The FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland is the 346th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 307th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

FIVB 2016
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar featured a purse of US$8.8 million with a season that extended from last October to this October, competing at 23 venues in 13 countries. The schedule includes five FIVB Grand Slams, three Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 14 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).

The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.

The Olympic qualification process began in 2015 with all FIVB World Tour events (except the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 through June 13, 2016 counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Copacabana Beach in Brazil in August. Brazil also was awarded two additional spots in the field of 24, one in each gender as the host nation and the other as winning both the men and women’s gold medals in the 2015 FIVB World Championships in the Netherlands. With qualifying through the FIVB World Tour completed, the official announcement of teams and drawing of pool assignment will be held at the Swatch Gstaad Major Series.

The four FIVB Grand Slam and four Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions in 2016, all double-gender, each have $800,000 in total purses. The total of $500,000 will be the purse for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams in each gender and two wild card teams.

The 14 FIVB Open tournaments on 2016 calendar, 11 double-gender, and three men’s only, have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.

The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series events split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Open tournaments each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.

Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.


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