Stavanger, Norway, June 9, 2015 - The “major dividends” here Tuesday for the winning pairs from Brazil, Germany and Norway in the Country Quota portion of the US$800,000 Stavanger Major were spots in Wednesday’s 32-team men’s qualifier in the second of three SWATCH Major Series events to be played in Europe this season.
With the FIVB World Tour returning to the Vagen Harbor courts for the 15th-time, Tuesday’s action also featured the women’s qualification tournament to set the field for Wednesday’s opening two rounds of Main Draw pool play matches. Competition continues through the weekend with the women’s finals Saturday and the men’s medal matches Sunday.
With the Stavanger Major being the fifth FIVB World Tour stop for men this season where teams are qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Stavanger Major is also the final European stop before the 2015 FIVB “senior” Beach Volleyball World Championships set to start June 26 and concludes July 5 in The Netherlands.
Two German pairs advanced from the Country Quota playoffs along with the tandems of Marcio Araujo/Saymon Barbosa of Brazil and Runar Sannarnes/Christian Sorum of Norway. The German winners were Armin Dollinger/Clemens Wickler and the Poniewaz twins (Bennet and David).
Sannarnes and Sorum are competing in their first-ever FIVB World Tour event together and will be seeking to become the fourth Norwegian pair in the men’s “money” rounds that start Thursday with pool play matches. Already placed in the Main Draw for the host country are the pairs of Iver Horrem/Geir Eithun, Lars Tveit Retterholt/Bjarte Usken and Oivind Hordvik/Kvamsdal Morten.
For the third-straight week on the FIVB World Tour, Vitor Felipe and Alvaro Filho competed for the final Brazilian slot in the qualifier. After being successful the first two times, the young Brazilians lost to compatriots Marcio Araujo and Saymon Barbosa 2-1 (24-22, 15-21, 15-12) in 58 minutes after defeating their rivals last week in Croatia. It was the second win Tuesday for Marcio Araujo and Saymon, who ousted Bruno de Paula and Hevaldo Moreira in two sets for the qualifying spot.
With Brazil winning 10 of the previous 14 men’s gold medals in Stavanger, Marcio Araujo topped the podium twice in 2007 with Fabio Magalhaes and 2011 with Ricardo Santos. Ricardo is a five-time winner on the Vagen Harbor center court, including three with Emanuel Rego (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006). Emanuel is a seven-time Stavanger gold medalist with other titles with Jose Loiola (1999) and Tande Ramos (2001 and 2002).
With the women starting Main Draw play Wednesday and their finals Saturday, the men’s quarter-finals will be played Saturday followed by their semi- finals and medal matches on Sunday. The winning teams in both genders will share the $57,000 first-place prizes along with gathering 800 “valuable” points that will help determine the field for the season-ending SWATCH Major Series event in the United States at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
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.
Reigning FIVB world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands are entered this week after winning the inaugural SWATCH Major Series event last week in Croatia where the Dutch defeated Canadians Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter in the finals.