Lausanne, Switzerland, August 30, 2015 - With one event left in the “fight for the fort” for the inaugural SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals to be played in five weeks in Fort Lauderdale, the top eight men’s teams have been determined for the US$500,000 international beach volleyball event along with the first seven women’s entries.
Featuring “elite” 10-team fields for both the men’s and women’s competition with a maximum of two teams per country per gender, the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals competition starts with pool play September 29 in the south Florida port city leading to the elimination rounds where the winning teams on October 4 will share the $100,000 first-place prize for a record international gold medal award.
The top eight teams on both the men’s and women’s FIVB World Tour ranking list will qualifying the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals along with two “wild card” pairs per gender. The fourth and final event on the 2015 SWATCH Major Series calendar, the field for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals will feature teams from eight countries, including four from beach volleyball power Brazil led by reigning world champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas.
Other Brazil pairs earning spots in the event where the winning teams will share the $100,000 first-place prize for a record international gold medal award are Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg Salgado and Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca. Evandro and Pedro were bronze medal finishers at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships on July 5 in The Hague, while Talita and Larissa have topped FIVB World Tour podiums this season in Russia, Croatia, Switzerland, the United States (Long Beach) and Poland.
Canada has qualified one men’s and two women’s teams for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals, including Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk in the men’s competition, and Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan and Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas in the women’s list. Broder and Valjas became the first Canadian women to earn medals on the FIVB World Tour since the start of play in 1992, including a gold medal finish in the 2015 season-opening event this past April in Fuzhou, China.
The Netherlands have also qualified three pairs for the event, including men’s teams Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen and Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, and the women's tandem of Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel. Brouwer and Meeuwsen captured the 2013 FIVB World Championships in Poland, while Nummerdor and Varenhorst finished second to Alison and Bruno in the 2015 worlds in the Netherlands last month. Meppelink and Van Iersel have played in three FIVB gold medal matches with four podium placements this season.
Other countries with teams qualifying pairs for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour finals are Australia (Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy), Austria (Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst), Germany (Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst), Spain (Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera) and the United States (Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson).
With the “wild cards” to be named in the near future, the eighth spot from the FIVB World Tour ranking list in the women’s field will be determined at this week’s Rio Open where Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez hold the advantage over Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany and Fan Wang/Yuan Yue of China. With the Rio Open being played on Copacabana beach as a test event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Baquerizo and Liliana hold a 190-point lead over the Germans and a 310-point edge over Wang and Yue.
Here are the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals rankings with a maximum of two teams per country: Men’s rank, Team, Country, Points
1, Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Brazil, 5,720
2, Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Brazil, 4,720
3, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands, 4,540
4, Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, Netherlands, 4,220
5, Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, United States, 4,080
6, Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera, Spain, 4,060
7, Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, Austria, 3,920
8, Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, Canada, 3,840
CQ, Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, Brazil, 3,620
9, Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, Poland, 3,560
10, Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov, Russia, 3,480
11, Tri Bourne/John Hyden, United States, 3,360
12, Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy, 3,320
13, Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter, Canada, 3,300
14, Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Germany, 3,180
CQ, Theo Brunner/Nick Lucena, United States, 2,920
15, Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, Poland, 2,600
16, Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Latvia, 2,520
17, Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen, Mexico, 2,500
18, Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe, Turkey, 2,360
19, Alexander Walkenhorst/Stefan Windscheif, Germany, 2,320
20, Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson, France, 2,280
21, Isaac Kapa/Christopher McHugh, Australia, 2,180
22, Jackson Henriquez/Jesus Villafane, Venezuela, 2,120
CQ, Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen, Germany, 2,060
23, Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri, Italy, 2,040
24, Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt, Chile, 1,920
NOTE - The men’s ranking is based on 12 events, including the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, five Grand Slams (Russia, United States, Japan, United States and Poland), three SWATCH Major Series tournaments (Croatia, Norway, Switzerland), and two Opens (China, Switzerland and Brazil). CQ = exceed country’s quota with a maximum of two teams per FIVB federation. Women’s rank, Team, Country, Points
1, Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil, 5,900
2, Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil, 5,340
3, Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Canada, 5,070
CQ, Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta, Brazil, 4,360
4, Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany, 4,200
5, Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands, 4,190
6, Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Australia, 4,180
7, Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada, 4,120
8, Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, Spain, 3,660
9, Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat, United States, 3,520
10, Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, Germany, 3,470
CQ, Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, Germany, 3,420
11, Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska, Poland, 3,380
12, Fan Wang/Yuan Yue, China, 3,350
CQ, Fernanda Alves/Taiana Lima, Brazil, 3,300
13, Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, Italy, 3,180
CQ, Karla Borger/Britta Buthe, Germany, 3,180
14, Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy, United States, 2,960
15, Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland, 2,940
16, April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, United States, 2,900
17, Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland, 2,720
18, Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova, Slovak Republic, 2,680
19, Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova, Russia, 2,600
CQ, Carolina Salgado/Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil, 2,470
CQ, Melissa Humana-Paredes/Taylor Pischke, Canada, 2,340
20, Taru Lahti/Riikka Lehtonen, Finland, 2,280
21, Linline Matauatu/Pata Miller, Vanuatu, 2,060
22, Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug, Argentina, 2,040
CQ, Tanja Goricanec/Tanja Huberli, Switzerland, 2,000
23, Barbara Hansel/Stefanie Schwaiger, Austria, 1,990
CQ, Carolina Horta/Liliane Maestrini, Brazil, 1,920
24, Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova, Czech Republic, 1,760
NOTE - The women’s ranking is based on 13 events, including the FIVB “senior” World Championships, five Grand Slams (Russia, United States, Japan, United States, Poland and Brazil), three SWATCH Major Series tournaments (Croatia, Norway, Switzerland), and three Opens (China, Switzerland and Czech Republic). CQ = exceed country’s quota with a maximum of two teams per FIVB federation.