Lausanne, Switzerland, July 5, 2016 - With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games looming in a month, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) enjoys a rare event in its home country of Switzerland as 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 - SWITZERLAND
Visiting the home country this week of the FIVB (based in Lausanne), the FIVB World Tour stop is the prolifically popular double-gender $800,000 Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major in Switzerland, the third of four events on the Swatch FIVB Major Series portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour. The FIVB World Tour ended its Olympic qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games three weeks ago and many Olympians are entered in Gstaad. This week’s internationally-televised Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major in Switzerland is being played in Gstaad Village, with the picturesque stadium court in the center of the tranquil town.SWITZERLAND’S FIVB HISTORY
A total of 31 previous FIVB World Tour events have been staged in the picturesque Swiss village of Gstaad, including 15 straight men’s events and 16 consecutive women’s events. A double-gender open for men and women was held in Lucerne, Switzerland in 2015. The 2007 event in Gstaad was the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Through the 2015 season, Switzerland has hosted a total of 33 FIVB World Tour events (16 men, 17 women) with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals after 16 events in Switzerland, Brazil has 20 medals, followed by USA with eight, Germany with six, the Netherlands and Switzerland with three each, Italy with two, and with one men’s medal each in Switzerland are Argentina, Australia, Latvia, Russia, Spain and Turkey.
After 17 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Switzerland through 2015, Brazil leads the medal parade with 20 total medals followed by the USA with 11, China with eight, German with four, Canada and the Netherlands with two each and with one each women’s medals in Switzerland are Australia, Czech Republic, Italy and Switzerland.
Men’s championship team of the 2015 Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major was Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt. Winning last year’s women’s gold medal in Gstaad was Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca. Both teams are headed to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18), both are the top seeded teams for Rio and both are returning to defend their championships in Gstaad.SWATCH FIVB WORLD TOUR FINALS
As part of the new sponsor partnership, the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals 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.NOW, THE STATS
With 18 men’s and 15 women’s tournaments now completed on the 2016 FIVB World Tour, here are some tantalizing tidbits from last week’s Swatch FIVB Porec Major in Croatia (the second of four Swatch FIVB Major Series events on the 2016 calendar) that are from the scrumptious succulent smorgasbord of superb special selections on the FIVB Beach Volleyball menu:• Austria a Runner Up Again –
Four years ago, Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst made Austria’s first men’s appearance in an FIVB World Tour gold medal match at the FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam in Poland. The duo lost to Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins 21-19 and 22-20 in 44 minutes. This past April, Alexander Huber/Robin Seidl had a second chance for Austria in the FIVB Qatar Open and lost to Italy’s Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri 21-17 and 21-19 in 37 minutes. At the Swatch FIVB Porec Major, Doppler and Horst had to hope that the third time would be a charm against the 2015 FIVB World Champions, Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil. After rallying to win the second set 21-16, following a 21-13 first set loss, the Austrian’s fell once again 15-12 in the third for their nation’s third silver medal and no golds. The Austrian women’s teams haven’t fared any better with four World Tour gold medal match appearances themselves and three losses to Brazil in 2009 Kristiansand, 2010 Marseille, and 2013 Shanghai, and one loss to Switzerland in Xiamen this past April.
• Men’s Players with Best Finish in Porec –
There were two men’s players who enjoyed their best main draw finish at the Swatch FIVB Porec Major.Player, Country, Finish, Previous Best
o Kresimir Karaula, Croatia, 25th, 41st (Porec, 2015)
o Marin Jercic, Croatia, 25th, 41st (Porec, 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 Porec Major, the top men’s rookie finishers were Christian Sorum of Norway and Croatia’s Marin Jercic and Kresimir Karaula who each finished 25th for 80 points. The other top finishers were David Lenc of the Czech Republic, Lithuania’s Lukas Kazdailis and Arnas Rumsevicius who each finished 33rd to earn 40 points. The men have now held 18 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, 805 points
o Christian Sorum, Norway, 750
o Hasan Mermer, Turkey, 455
o Sefa Urlu, Turkey, 455
o Stefan Basta, Serbia, 400
o Lazar Kolaric, Serbia, 400
o Ahmed Tijan, Qatar, 335
o Mark Burik, United States, 325
o Kristoffer Abell, Denmark, 280
o Lorenz Schumann, Germany, 270
• Another Qualifier Winner –
Germany’s Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude had been to three previous FIVB World Tour gold-medal matches and lost them all. They lost to China as the 13th-seed in 2013 Durban, to Canada as the third-seed in the 2015 FIVB Fuzhou Open, and to the United States earlier this season as the 16th-seed in Fuzhou. Coming into the main draw as the top seed in the qualifier and the 19th main draw seed at the Swatch FIVB Porec Major, they had their fourth chance against another team from Canada. The Germans defeated Canada’s Sarah Pavan/Heather Bansley, 21-19 and 21-18 in 38 minutes to become the 11th women’s team to win an FIVB World Tour gold medal after advancing through the qualifier. It also happened earlier this season when Brazil’s Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia won the FIVB Maceio Open.
• Germany Places Three Teams in Semifinals –
Germany had never placed three teams in the semifinals of an FIVB World Tour event for men or women. At the FIVB Swatch Porec Major, the Germans advanced Laboureur/Sude, the gold medalists along with bronze medalists, Karla Borger/Britta Buthe and Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, who finished in fourth place. Germany had placed two women’s teams in the final four of a FIVB World Tour event eight times, once in 2008 (Marseille), 2009 (Moscow), two times in 2013 (Xiamen and Durban), and three times in 2014 (Prague, Gstaad, and Stare Jablonki). Only three other countries have advanced three or more women’s teams into the semifinals of an FIVB World Tour event, with Brazil leading the way with 48 times, the United States 17 times, and China once.
• Four Qualifier Teams in the Top Eight –
At the Swatch FIVB Porec Major, four women’s teams from the qualifying tournament advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in FIVB World Tour history. Brazil’s Fernanda Alves/Josemari Alves, Maria Antonelli/Liliane Maestrini, and Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli, the second, third, and fifth-seeded teams in the qualifier, respectively all lost to finish in fifth place. The top-seeded qualifier, Germany’s Laboureur/Sude won the gold medal. Three times previously, three women’s qualifier teams had advanced to the quarterfinals in the FIVB 2010 FIVB Aland Open, 2013 FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam, and 2015 FIVB Lucerne Open. The men have also had three qualifying teams in the quarterfinals, four times on consecutive weekends in 2010 (FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam and FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam) and 2014 (FIVB Berlin Grand Slam and FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam).
• Women’s Players with Best Finish in Porec –
There were four women’s player who enjoyed their best main draw finish at the Swatch FIVB Porec Major.
Player, Country, Finish, Previous Best
o Julia Sude, Germany, Gold, Silver (2 times)
o Chantal Laboureur, Germany, Gold, Silver (2 times)
o Josemari Alves, Brazil, 5th, 9th (2 times)
o Dina Becic, Croatia, 25th, 41st (Porec, 2015)
• Women’s Top Rookies for 2016 –
In the Swatch FIVB Porec Major, the top women’s rookie finishers were Croatia’s Dina Becic, Samantha Fabris, Nikolina Jelic, and Sara Radanovic, who each finished 25th for 80 points. Other rookie top finishers were Switzerland’s Dunja Gerson, who moved into the season lead, Nina Herelova of the Slovak Republic, Czech Republic’s Magdalena Dostalova, Eliska Galova, and Sara Olivova, and Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen of the United States who each finished 33rd for 40 points. The women have now held 15 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 Dunja Gerson, Switzerland, 340 points
o Chunxia Chen, China, 265
o Anne Lie Rininsland, Sweden, 245
o Maria Julia Benet, Argentina, 215
o Rebecca Perry, Italy, 205
o Valentyna Davidova, Ukraine, 180
o Ievgeniia Shchypkova, Ukraine, 180
o Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya, Russia, 175
o Inna Makhno, Ukraine, 160
o Rebeca Pazo, Venezuela, 150ON THE HORIZON
Qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour complete, 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 the Swatch FIVB Porec Major last week, remaining 2016 FIVB World Tour events prior to the Rio Olympics will be two more events on the Swatch FIVB Major Series portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour. First is this week’s Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major Series in Switzerland (July 5-10) and concluding with the Swatch FIVB Klagenfurt Major Series event 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 the $800,000 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.GROWING HISTORY
The Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major in Switzerland is the 348th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 309th 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 features a purse of US$8.8 million with a season that extends from last October to this October, competing at 23 venues in 13 countries. The schedule includes four FIVB Grand Slams, four Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 14 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. 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.ROAD TO RIO
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 for pool assignments will be held at the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major.FIVB WORLD TOUR PURSES
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. FIVB EVENT FORMAT
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.