Lausanne, Switzerland, April 27, 2015 - After last week’s surprising season-opening event in China, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) now has two weeks before the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumes. With two first-time gold medalist teams surprising the competition, the FIVB officially launched the Olympic qualifying window for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil at the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Fuzhou Open 2015. The 2015 FIVB World Tour continues in Switzerland, the home of the FIVB, with the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Lucerne Open 2015 from May 12-17.
Winning their first gold medal on the FIVB World Tour at the FIVB Fuzhou Open was Germany’s Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen, while the women’s gold medal went to Canada’s Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas which was not only the veteran team’s first FIVB World Tour gold, it was also the first women’s gold medal in FIVB World Tour history for Canada.FUZHOU MEN
In the men’s only competition, winning the gold medal in impressive fashion with a perfect 7-0 record, was Germany’s surprising Bockermann/Fluggen duo that was playing in just its first FIVB World Tour event as a team. The Germans upset defending FIVB world champions Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands. Germany’s Bockermann/Fluggen won in straight sets over the Dutch duo 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) in 40 minutes. Individually, it was the first career FIVB gold medal for both players as Bockermann was in his first FIVB Final Four and Fluggen was in his second. France’s Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson took home the bronze medal for the second straight event, this time by coming from behind to defeat USA’s Todd Rogers/Stafford Slick 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-9) in 47 minutes.FUZHOU WOMEN
In the women’s only competition, winning the gold medal with a stunning display and a 7-0 record was Canada’s veteran Broder/Valjas duo that was playing in their 35th FIVB World Tour event since becoming a team in 2012. The determined Canadians, seeded 13th, upset Germany’s third-seeded Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude in two tough sets 2-0 (21-17, 23-21) in 37 minutes. Canada’s Broder/Valjas, playing in their first FIVB Final Four individually or as a team, advanced to the gold medal match with a stunning semifinal win over USA’s second-seeded Olympians April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings in three sets 2-1 (28-26, 14-21, 15-9) in 46 minutes.. USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings earned their seventh FIVB medal in 14 tournaments as a team with their bronze medal comeback win over home country top-seeded tournament favorites Fan Wang/Yuan Yue 2-1 (13-21, 21-13, 15-11) in 47 minutes.MEN’S WINNERS BIG START
Last week’s FIVB Fuzhou Open men’s champions Bockermann/Fluggen of Germany earned 500 points on the FIVB World Tour and picked up the gold medal purse of $11,000. Netherlands' Brouwer/Meeuwsen, the Dutch tandem coming back off an injury-riddled 2014 season after winning the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in Poland, earned 450 valuable points in the FIVB World Season Rankings and the FIVB World Tour points as well as earning $8,000 in prize money.WOMEN’S WINNERS BIG START
Last week’s FIVB Fuzhou Open women’s champions Broder/Valjas of Canada earned 500 points on the FIVB World Tour and picked up the gold medal purse of $11,000. Germany’s runner-up duo of Laboureur/Sude not only picked up their second silver medal and third final four finish in 10 FIVB tournaments together, they also earned 450 valuable points in the FIVB World Season Rankings and the FIVB World Tour points as well picking up the $8,000 purse to start the season.MEN’S POINTS/EARNINGS
The top three teams in each gender at FIVB Open events receive 500, 450 and 400 points respectively on the 2015 FIVB World Tour. Germany’s Bockermann/Fluggen are at the top of the men’s point leader board with 500 points. Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen duo are second with 450 points in the men’s 2015 FIVB World Tour point standings, followed by France’s Krou/Rowlandson third with 400 and USA’s Rogers/Slick fourth with 350.
In the 2015 FIVB World Tour men’s season earnings, the leading team are Germany’s Bockermann/Fluggen with $11,000 followed by the Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen with $8,000, France’s Krou/Rowlandson third with $6,000 and USA’s Rogers/Slick fourth with $4,500. WOMEN’S POINTS/EARNINGS
For the women, Canada’s Broder/Valjas duo are at the top with 500 points followed by Germany’s Laboureur/Sude with 450, USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings third with 400 and China’s Wang/Yue fourth with 350.
In the 2015 FIVB World Tour women’s season earnings, Canada’s Broder/Valjas are ahead with $11,000 followed by Germany’s Laboureur/Sude second with $8,000, USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings third with $6,000 and China’s Wang/Yue fourth with $4,500.MEN’S FINAL FOURS
In one men’s tournament so far in 2015 on the FIVB World Tour, four countries have at least one final four placement. With one final four placement each are France (one bronze), Germany (one gold), Netherlands (one silver) and the United States (one fourth place).WOMEN’S FINAL FOURS
In one women’s event so far this year, four countries have earned at least one final four finish. With one final four finish each are Canada (one gold), China (one fourth place), Germany (one silver) and the United States (one bronze).MEN’S WINNING PERCENTAGE
Based on percentage, statistically, in men’s action after one event, Germany’s Bockermann/Fluggen lead with a 7-0 record (100.0% winning percentage), followed by the Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen with a 6-1 record (85.7%). Tied for third place with 4-1 records (80.0%) are USA’s Theo Brunner/Nick Lucena, Germany’s Sebastian Fuchs/Thomas Kaczmarek and Poland’s Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak. Germany’s Bockermann/Fluggen tandem also have the most wins so far with seven and Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen duo are second with six.WOMEN’S WINNING PERCENTAGE
For the women to date, following one events on the 2015 FIVB World Tour, Canada’s Broder/Valjas are on top with a 7-0 record (100.0% winning percentage) while second are USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings with a 6-1 record (84.75). Tied for third place with 4-1 records (80.0%) are Canada’s Melissa Humana-Parades/Taylor Pischke, Australia’s Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy and Canada’s Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan. Canada’s Broder/Valjas have the most wins so far with seven and tied with USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings in second with six wins are Germany’s Laboureur/Sude (6-2, 75.0%).ON THE HORIZON
The FIVB Fuzhou Open was the first double-gender FIVB open event of the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar. After a two-week break, the second event will be the FIVB Lucerne Open in Switzerland, the home of the FIVB, from May 12-17. The following week, the lone women’s-only open of the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar will be the FIVB Prague Open in the Czech Republic from May 20-24, followed by the first of five grand slams with the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam from May 26-31. GROWING HISTORY
The FIVB Lucerne Open will be the 316th FIVB men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 279th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992. FIVB 2015
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of beach volleyball and volleyball, the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar features a record purse of US$9.6 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 20 venues in 15 countries. The schedule includes five FIVB Grand Slams, the new Swatch FIVB Major Series of four events, six FIVB Opens and a special Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final in the United States. A showcase event will be the $1 million 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands.
The Olympic qualification process begins in 2015 with all FIVB World Tour events (except the FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 up until 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 in Brazil.FIVB WORLD RANKINGS
The 2015 FIVB World Ranking system will again include FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slams, the new FIVB Major Series and FIVB Open events along with additional pre-approved events at the inter-continental, continental and national levels.
The 2014-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup also returns this year as it starts its portion of the qualification process for the Rio Olympics.FIVB WORLD TOUR PURSES
The FIVB Grand Slam and FIVB Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series competitions - all double-gender - each have $800,000 in total purses. The total purse at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015 will be $1,000,000 and $500,000 total for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams in each gender.
The nine FIVB Open tournaments in 2015, seven double-gender, one men only and one women only, will 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 Open tournaments will 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 will return as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.