TALKIN’ STATS: 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - June 21

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 22, 2016 — Preparing diligently for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) continues its calendar this week in Croatia and we take another quick look at some of the significant stats from its 2016 US$8.8 million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

Next week the FIVB World Tour stop will be the double-gender $800,000 Swatch FIVB Poreč Major in Croatia, the second of four events on the Swatch FIVB Major Series portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour. The FIVB World Tour ended of its Olympic qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games two weeks. Next week’s internationally-televised Swatch FIVB Poreč Major in Croatia will be played at Peskera near old town in Poreč.

While this will be the second visit to Poreč, the FIVB World Tour has stopped in Croatia in previous years, presenting four men’s only events in Zagreb in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Following Croatia, the two other Swatch FIVB Major Series tournaments will be held in Switzerland (Gstaad, July 5-10) and in Austria (Klagenfurt, July 27-31).

As part of the new sponsor partnership, the Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball Season Final will be held in a location to be announced on Sept. 13-18. The event will again feature the top eight teams and two wildcards for each gender from the 2016 FIVB World Tour. This illustrious group will compete for a total purse of $500,000 with the winning men and women’s tandems receiving $100,000 each.

Winning the gold medals last year in Poreč were the Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen for the men and for the women was Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca.

Croatia has hosted six FIVB World Tour events through 2015, (five men and one women). In the men’s medal count through five events, Brazil and the United States are tied with three each, the Netherlands has two medals and with one medal each are Canada, China, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Switzerland.

After one FIVB World Tour women’s event held in Croatia through 2015, Australia, Brazil and Canada lead the medal parade one total medal each.

With 17 men’s and 14 women’s tournaments now completed on the 2016 FIVB World Tour, here are some tantalizing tidbits from last week’s FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland (the third of four FIVB Grand Slams on the 2016 calendar) that are from the scrumptious succulent smorgasbord of superb special selections on the FIVB Beach Volleyball menu:

•    Welcome Back Hungary – It had been four years since a men’s team from Hungary had participated in an FIVB World Tour event.  At the Olsztyn Grand Slam, the European nation’s representative was the team of Izsak Soos/Tamas Meszlenyi who were each making their World Tour debut as the 21st-seeded team in the qualifying tournament.  Hungary had never advanced a team through the qualifying tournament into a World Tour main draw, and Spain’s Cesar Menendez/Francisco Tomas made sure it wouldn’t happen in Poland, defeating the Hungarians in their first-round match 21-16 and 21-7.  The 41st-place finish matches the best qualifying finish for Hungary, tying Balazs Zirigh/Robert Koch and Laszlo Racz/Balazs Buday at the 1999 Klagenfurt event.  In the early years, before qualifying, Hungary had three main draw finishes including a country-best 20th-place in the 1989 event in Jesi, Italy.

•    Highest Scoring Men’s Match of the Season –
The Olsztyn Grand Slam featured the highest scoring men’s match of the season, a 141-point, one hour and seven minute slugfest, won by Tri Bourne/John Hyden of the United States over Austria’s Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, 21-18, 21-23, and 30-28.  The 141 points is the ninth-most in FIVB World Tour history, and the 30-28 third set is the longest of the 2016 season and ties for the fourth-longest.  The all-time record for points is 168 in a pool B match at the 2006 Klagenfurt event, won by Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos over Kristjan Kais/Rivo Vesik of Estonia, 29-27, 27-29 and 29-27.  The all-time record for third set points was in the gold-medal match of the 2003 Mallorca Open, won by Brazil’s Marcio Araujo/Benjamin Insfran over Markus Dieckmann/Jonas Reckermann of Germany, 14-21, 21-19, and 34-32.

•    Men’s Players with Best Finish in Olsztyn –
There were no men’s players who enjoyed his best main draw finish at the Swatch FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam.

•    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 Olsztyn Grand Slam, the top men’s rookie finisher was Billy Allen of the United States who finished 17th for 120 points.  The other main draw finisher was Latvia’s Edgars Tocs who finished 25th for 80 points to stretch his season lead to 135 points. Other top finishers were Jasper Bouter and Tom van Steenis of the Netherlands and Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric of Serbia who each finished 33rd to earn 40 points.  The men have now held 17 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, 765 points
o    Christian Sorum, Norway, 630
o    Hasan Mermer, Turkey, 455
o    Sefa Urlu, Turkey, 455
o    Stefan Basta, Serbia, 380
o    Lazar Kolaric, Serbia, 380
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 –
The women’s gold-medal match of the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam featured another matchup between Brazil and Germany, just like the previous week in Hamburg.  Germany captured gold again at the Swatch FIVB Hamburg Major as Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst prevailed in another hard-fought, three-set win, 21-18, 15-21, and 15-10 in 41 minutes over Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca.   Brazil and Germany have now met 18 times in FIVB World Tour gold medals with Brazil holding a 13-5 edge.  While Brazil leads the overall series, Germany has now won all three meetings in the 2016 World Tour Calendar and four of the last five finals meetings between the two countries.  Ludwig and Walkenhorst have been involved in all five of those meetings, dating back to July of last season.

•    Bronze 3-for-3 for Dubovcova/Nestarcova –
Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova of the Czech Republic hadn’t played in a final four on the FIVB World Tour since winning a bronze medal at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in July of 2014.  Their semi-final appearance at the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam was their third to go along with a second bronze medal at the FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam in 2014.  In both of those semi-finals, they lost to top-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States before winning bronze.  With the Americans playing domestically this week, the Czechs played second-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil, and lost for once again.  They recovered to win the bronze medal over another pair of Brazilians, Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia to win their third bronze medal in their three final fours of their 63 events together.

•    Betschart Finally Breaks Through –
Switzerland’s Nina Betschart has been playing a limited schedule on the FIVB World Tour since 2012 with one tournament entry in each of 2012 and 2014 and four tournaments in 2015.  This year, she’s played eight times, once with Nicole Eiholzer and seven with Tanja Huberli.  She started her FIVB career finishing fifth at the 2011 U19 World Championships with Eiholzer then winning gold at the U21 World Championships that same year with Joana Heidrich and again in 2012 with Anouk Verge-Depre.  While she hasn’t won gold yet on the FIVB World Tour, Nina has steadily improved with ninth-place finishes in 2012, 2015, and three in 2016 leading up to the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam.  In Olsztyn, she and Huberli finally broke through into the quarterfinals by defeating World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas of Brazil before falling to another pair of Brazilians Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia.  It’s Huberli’s second fifth-place finish matching her quarterfinal appearance with Tanja Goricanec at the 2013 FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.

•    Women’s Players with Best Finish in Olsztyn –
There was only one women’s player who enjoyed her best main draw finish at the Swatch FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam.

o    Player, Country, Finish, Previous Best
o    Nina Betschart, Switzerland, 5th, 9th (5 times)

•    Women’s Top Rookies for 2016 –
In the Swatch FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam, the top women’s rookie finishers were Anna Dostalova of the Czech Republic, Norway’s Oda Ulveseth, Poland’s Agnieszka Adamek and Natalia Gruszczynska, Switzerland’s Dunja Gerson, and Ukraine’s Inna and Iryna Makhno, who each finished 33rd for 40 points.  Other rookie top finishers were Poland’s Monika Gorzka and Aleksandra Zdon, who each finished 41st for 20 points. The women have now held 14 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 will be capped with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

After last week’s FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam, remaining 2016 FIVB World Tour events prior to the Rio Olympics will be three events on the Swatch FIVB Major Series portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour. They start with next week’s 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 Swatch FIVB Porec Major in Croatia will be the 347th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 308th 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 counted 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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