Lausanne, Switzerland, August 31, 2015 — Returning to Brazil for the first time in 2015, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) will be in Rio as the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues Wednesday with the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Rio Open, which is also a test event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The internationally-televised FIVB Rio Open is being held on the famed Copacabana Beach on the site of next year’s games.
Visiting Brazil every year since the beginning of the FIVB, starting the FIVB Rio Open will be 31 men’s teams from 15 countries along with 33 women’s teams from 16 countries. It is the third of four straight double-gender events as the schedule has five events on tap in a six-week window.
The FIVB Rio Open is a 24-team event, per gender, that is the final qualifying event for the inaugural double-gender $500,000 Swatch 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals to held in the United States in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Sept. 29-Oct. 4) for the top eight teams in each gender in the final 2015 FIVB World Tour Rankings plus two wild card teams will qualify for Fort Lauderdale. The gold medal teams in each gender at the Swatch 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals will each earn a FIVB $100,000 in prize money.RIO SCHEDULE
This week’s FIVB Rio Open will start on Wednesday with a one-day qualification tournament for each gender to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 24-team main draw tournaments. Using the Olympic format, Thursday will be men’s and women’s round-robin pool play followed Friday with the final pool play matches and the lucky loser matches for each gender. For the advancing 16 teams, on Saturday will be the round of 16 matches, quarterfinals and semifinal matches for each gender. The men’s and women’s medal matches will be held on Sunday.BRAZIL’S FIVB HISTORY
Brazil has hosted 67 total previous FIVB World Tour events (36 men, 31 women) with at least one every year that the FIVB has played beach volleyball starting in 1987. Rio de Janeiro has hosted 21 total events, including the 1999 World Championships. Fortaleza has hosted 10 total events, followed by Brasília with eight total events, Vitória also with eight and Salvador with seven.
There have been 23 men’s-only events, 18 women’s-only events, and 13 double-gender events. As expected, Brazil is leading the medal count in both genders by wide margins.
In the men’s totals after 36 events, Brazil has 62 medals, followed by the United States with 24, Switzerland with six, Argentina has four, Canada two and with one men’s medal each in Brazil are China, Cuba, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland.
After 31 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Brazil through 2014, Brazil leads the medal parade with 54 total medals followed by the United States with 28, Australia and Germany with three each, Italy with two and with one women’s medal each in Brazil are China, Japan and the Netherlands.WELCOME TO RIO
Rio de Janeiro (January River), or simply Rio, is the second largest city in Brazil with a population in the metropolis of over 12 million people. Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, Carnival, samba, bossa nova and balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana and Ipanema. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the new seven wonders of the world; Sugarloaf Mountain with its cable car and Maracana Stadium, one of the world’s largest football (soccer) stadiums.
Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics—the first time a South American and Portuguese-speaking nation will host these events, and the third time the Olympics will be held in a Southern Hemisphere city. Rio's Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the XV Pan American Games including its opening and closing ceremonies.TEAM BRAZIL
As the host nation for the FIVB Rio Open, Brazil has three men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two more teams in the qualification tournament. Brazil’s main draw teams are provisional top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, second-seeded Pedro Solberg/Evandro Goncalves and fourth-seeded Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos.
Men’s teams in the qualifier from Brazil are No. 1-seeded Alvaro Filho/Vitor Felipe and ninth-seeded Gustavo Carvalhaes/Saymon Santos.
As the host nation, Brazil has four women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two teams in the women’s qualification tournament. Brazil’s main draw teams are provisional top-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, second-seeded Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes, third-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli and fourth-seeded Taiana Lima/Fernanda Alves.
Women’s teams in the qualifier from Brazil are No. 1-seeded sisters Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Salgado and second-seeded Eduardo Lisboa/Elize Maia.OTHER TOP SEEDS
For the FIVB Rio Open, preliminary revised top men’s seeds besides three Brazilian teams are Latvia’s No. 3 Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Austria’s No. 5 Doppler Clemens/Alexander Horst and Canada’s No. 6 Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton.
For the FIVB Rio Open, preliminary revised top women’s seeds in addition to the four Brazilian teams is Netherlands’ No. 5 Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Spain’s No. 7 Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, China’s No. 8 Fan Wang/Yuan Yue and USA’s No. 9 Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross.FIVB RIO OPEN PURSE
The gold medal team in each gender at the FIVB Rio Open will split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.FIVB WORLD TOUR PURSES
The FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions, all double-gender each have $800,000 in total purses. The total purse FIVB World Championships the Netherlands 2015 was $1,000,000 and $500,000 total for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams and two wild card teams in each gender.
The 10 FIVB Open tournaments in 2015, eight 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.GROWING HISTORY
The FIVB Rio Open will be the 326th men’s event since the FIVB began men’s competition in 1987 and the 290th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992. ON THE HORIZON
After Rio and prior to Fort Lauderdale, two double-gender $150,000 FIVB Opens, the FIVB Sochi Open in Russia (Sept. 8-13) and the FIVB Xiamen Open in China (Sept. 22-27) will be held, with placement points counting in the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
After this week’s FIVB Rio Open and prior to Fort Lauderdale, two double-gender $150,000 FIVB Opens, the FIVB Sochi Open in Russia (Sept. 8-13) and the FIVB Xiamen Open in China (Sept. 22-27) will be held, with placement points counting in the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.