Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 3, 2015 - It was only fitting that Beach Volleyball power Brazil had two teams playing the final two matches of the day here Thursday against emerging force Poland in the US$150,000 Rio Open where 24 men’s and women’s matches were contested on iconic Copacabana beach.With 10 of the 12 men’s matches played in the afternoon where the top-ranked Brazilian pairs of newly-crowned FIVB world champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt (Pool A) along with Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg (Pool B) and Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos (Pool E) posted victories, the evening was for the experienced Poles against the newly-formed Brazilian pairs.Three-time FIVB youth world champions Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak were the first Polish pair on the Copacabana sand in the next to last match of Thursday. Veterans of 40 FIVB World Tour events, Kantor and Losiak posted a 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 15-11) win in 47 minutes over Marcus Carvalhaes and Daniel Lustosa.“Any match you play on the FIVB World Tour is tough, especially against Brazilians,” said the 23-year old Losiak. “The atmosphere was great in the stadium and our opponents played extremely well. It is always difficult to play an opponent that you have never played against. I think our experience helped us win the match.”Marcus and Daniel, who were playing in their first FIVB World Tour event together, had to defeat teams from Canada and Germany in Wednesday’s qualification tournament to advance to the Rio Open Main Draw. Marcus had previous experience in the FIVB youth world championships and placed third in 2011 with Victor Felipe. Marcus and his brother Gustavo Carvalhaes lost to Kantor and Losiak in the quarter-finals of the 2012 FIVB under-21 world championships in Canada.In the final match on Thursday’s Rio Open schedule, Saymon Barbosa and Gustavo out-lasted two-time FIVB youth world champions Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland with a 2-1 (21-11, 18-21, 15-11) win in 47 minutes.
While the Poles were competing in their 73rd FIVB World Tour event together, the Rio Open was Saymon and Gusto’s second. The young Brazilians defeated Alison and Bruno three weeks ago in a domestic event in Brasilia.Other winners Thursday were Sebastian Fuchs/Stefan Windscheif of Germany (Pool A), Jackson Henriquez/Jesus Villafane of Venezuela (Pool B), Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia (Pool C), Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen of Germany (Pool C), Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri of Italy (Pool D), Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt of Chile (Pool E) and Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen of Mexico (Pool F).The matches for Samoilovs, Henriquez and Villafane were of note since the last FIVB-sanctioned event on Copacabana involved all three players as they met in the gold medal finale at the 2005 FIVB under-21 World Championships. Samoilovs and Martins Plavins defeated the Venezuelans to win the title.The 12th men’s stop on the 2015 international calendar, the Rio Open is serving as a “test” event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where this week’s competition concluding Sunday with the medal matches. The winning pairs in both genders will share the $11,000 first-place prizes.Following the Rio Open, the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for a stop in Russia (Sochi, September 8-13) before taking a week off. The international circuit visits China (Xiamen, September 22-27) for the second-time in 2015. The “elite” players on the international circuit will be featured September 29-October 4 at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.