Stavanger, Norway, June 10, 2015 - Cool conditions here Wednesday produced some chilling results as eight teams from seven countries advanced from the men’s Qualification Tournament to the Main Draw of the US$800,000 Stavanger Major, the second of three events on the 2015 SWATCH Major Series calendar.
The 15th-time that the men’s FIVB World Tour has competed on the Vagen Harbor courts, seven of the nine top-seeded teams advanced as expected after each won two qualifying matches Wednesday. With 24 teams already pre-entered into the “money” rounds, the men’s Main Draw begins Thursday with pool play matches to set the field for the elimination rounds that will start Friday.
Being played in conjunction with the women, the men’s quarter-finals will be Saturday followed by the semi-final and medal matches Saturday. The women’s “final four” matches will be played Saturday as the winning team for each gender will share the $57,000 first-place prize along with earning 800 points that will count towards the qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Making the “major” break-through from the qualifier to the Main Draw Wednesday was 21st-seeded Grant O'Gorman and Sam Pedlow of Canada as the North American country continues to make a strong showing on the FIVB World Tour. The Canadians collected silver medals last week in both the men’s and women’s competition at the Porec Major in Croatia.
After upsetting a 12th-seeded team from Greece in the first round Wednesday, O’Gorman and Pedlow advanced to the “money” rounds with a 2-1 (21-17, 24-26, 15-12) win in 58 minutes over 28th-seeded Marcio Araujo and Saymon Barbosa of Brazil. Canada will now have three men’s teams in the Main Draw, including Porec silver medal winners Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter.
With the two wins Wednesday, O'Gorman and Pedlow qualified for their first FIVB World Tour Main Draw this season after previously in China, Switzerland, Russia and Croatia by not winning a single match. Three of the four losses were in three-sets. Last season, O'Gorman and Pedlow advanced from only one of three qualifiers.
Other qualifying teams were top-seeded Vitor Felipe/Alvaro Filho of Brazil, second-seeded Theo Brunner/Nick Lucena of the United States, third-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland, fourth-seeded Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen of Germany, sixth-seeded Ryan Doherty/John Mayer of United States, seventh-seeded Isaac Kapa/Christopher McHugh of Australia, and the ninth-seeded Ingrosso twins (Matteo and Paolo) of Italy.
Bockermann and Fluggen, who captured the gold medal at the men’s FIVB World Tour season-opening event in April at Fuzhou, China, posted two wins Wednesday after earning a “lucky loser” spot at Tuesday’s technical meeting due to a late withdrawal from the qualification tournament. Vitor and Alvaro also benefited from a late withdrawal to reenter the tournament after losing Tuesday to Marcio Araujo and Saymon in the Brazilian country quota match Tuesday.
The Germans’ second win Wednesday was a 2-0 (33-31, 23-21) win in 51 minutes over Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri of Italy, the bronze medal finishers last week in Porec. Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands, who captured the Porec Major gold medal, lost to Bockermann and Fluggen in the Fuzhou finale.
Following this week’s SWATCH Major Series event, the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for an event in the United States in St. Petersburg, Fla. The June schedule ends with the start of the world championships in The Netherlands. Being played at for sites, world championships start (June 26) and end (with the medal matches July 4 for women and July 5 for men) in The Hague.