FIVB World Tour resumes in Japan with FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 20, 2015 — Enjoying a one-week break between competitions after eight consecutive weeks of tournaments in seven countries, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) now travels to Japan as the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues with the double-gender $800,000 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam this week in Japan, the third of five FIVB Grand Slams on this year’s schedule.

Visiting Japan for the first time since 2009, the internationally-televised FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will be held on the purpose-built site at Rinko Park.

Returning to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar for the first double-gender event held in Japan, the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will be held Wednesday through Sunday. Being held at Rinko Park, the largest park in the Minato Mirai district adjacent to the Yokohama Port, it will be the eighth men’s competition in Japan (and first since 1995) and 15th time that a women’s FIVB tournament (first since 2009) will be held in Japan. Starting the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will be 56 men’s teams from 24 countries along with 51 women’s teams from 21 countries.

This week’s FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will have near-parallel schedules for men and women. It will start on Tuesday with a one-day qualification tournament for each gender to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play Wednesday and Thursday for men and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for women. Single elimination rounds for the final 24 teams will be played on Thursday and Friday for men and Friday and Saturday for women.

The quarterfinals for both genders will be held on Saturday. The semifinals and medal matches for each gender will be played on Sunday. Country quota playoffs for each gender, as needed, will be held on Monday.

While marking the first-time that both men and women have competed together in Japan in a FIVB World Tour event, seven FIVB men’s only events were held in Japan from 1989-1995, including a 1991 on stop in Yokohama. A total of 14 women’s only events were held in Osaka from 1994-2005 and in 2008 and 2009. With a grand total of 21 FIVB World Tour events held in Japan previously, the other six men’s events were all held in Enoshima, Japan.

The United States leads the men’s medal count in Japan and Brazil leads the women’s medal count in the land of the rising sun.  In the men’s totals after seven events, USA has eight medals followed by Brazil with seven, Norway with two and with one men’s medal each are Australia, France, Italy and host country Japan.

After 14 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Japan, Brazil leads the medal parade with 21 total medals followed by the USA with nine, Australia eight five, China with two and with one each are Germany, host country Japan, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo, and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area. Yokohama's population of 3.7 million makes it Japan's largest incorporated city. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's relative isolation in the mid-19th century, and continues today as one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo, and Chiba.

USA’s popular and powerful 2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2007 FIVB world champion Phil ‘The Thin Beast’ Dalhausser will make his return to the FIVB World Tour in Yokohama after a nearly two month absence as the result of a severe left oblique muscle injury suffered at the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam in late May.

Set to compete in his 82nd FIVB international event, Dalhausser has won 29 gold medals along with another 46 in the domestic AVP series in the United States. Dalhausser, 35, who won his Olympic gold and FIVB World Championship with Todd Rogers, is playing now with Sean Rosenthal, also 35, who like Dalhausser is a two-time Olympian, finishing fifth in both 2008 and 2012 with former teammate Jake Gibb. Rosenthal has played in 87 FIVB international events with 10 gold medals and has an additional 12 on the AVP Tour.

Together, USA’s Dalhausser/Rosenthal enter the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam having played in 19 FIVB World Tour events as a team with six gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal. Rosenthal sat out part of last season as well with an abdominal muscle injury incurred at the AVP event in August of 2014 in Cincinnati. Both are former FIVB World Tour season point champions with previous partners, Dalhausser with Rogers and Rosenthal with Gibb.

As the host nation for the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam, Japan has three men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw three more teams in the qualification tournament. Japan’s main draw teams are provisional 22nd-seeded Hitoshi Murakami/Takumi Takahashi, 23rd-seeded Yoshiumi Hasegawa/Katsuhiro Shiratori and 24th-seeded Koichi Nishimura/Yuya Ageba.

Men’s teams in the qualifier from Japan are Kensuke Shoji/Junki Hatabe, Keisuke Shimizu/Yasuo Nakaya and Masashi Ogawa/Shinya Inoue.

As the host nation, Japan has three women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and seven teams in the women’s qualification tournament. Japan’s main draw teams are provisional 22nd-seeded Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe, 23rd-seeded Ayumi Kusano/Shinako Tanaka and 24th-seeded Akiko Hasegawa/Yui Nagata.

Women’s teams in the qualifier from the Japan are Megumi Murakami/Miki Ishii, Miyuki Matsumura/Hiroko Matsuyama, Erika Habaguchi/Sakurako Fujii, Keiko Urata/Satoko Urata, Keiko Onoda/Mai Tanaka, Samaa Miyagawa/Minori Kumada and Chiyo Suzuki/Satono Ishitsubo.

For the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam, preliminary revised top men’s seeds are, Netherland’s No. 1 seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, Brazil’s No. 2 Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Brazil’s No. 3 newly crowned FIVB World Champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Latvia’s No. 4 Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Martins Plavins, Netherland’s No. 5 Alexander Brouwer/RobMeeuwsen, USA’s No. 6 Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Brazil’s No. 7 Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, Austria’s No. 8 Doppler Clemens/Alexander Horst, Italy’s No. 9 Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo and USA’s No. 10 John Hyden/Tri Bourne.

For the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam, preliminary revised top women’s seeds are Brazil’s No. 1 Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil’s No. 2 recently crowned FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil’s No. 3 Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta, Netherlands’ No. 4 Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Canada’s No. 5 Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Italy’s No. 6 Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, Australia’s No. 7 Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Germany’s No. 8 Karla Borger/Britta Buthe Germany’s No. 9 Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst and Spain’s No. 10 Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez.

The gold medal team in each gender at the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000.

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 will be $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.

The FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will be the 323rd men’s event since the FIVB began men’s competition in 1987 and the 287th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.

Following this week’s visit to Japan for the $800,000 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam, the 2015 FIVB World Tour will take a three-week hiatus prior to returning to USA’s Southern California for the double-gender $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam to be held on August 18-23. Long Beach will be the first of four straight double-gender events as the schedule has five events on tap in a six-week window.  The final 2015 FIVB Grand Slam will be held in Poland August 25-30 at the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam, followed by the FIVB Rio Open in Brazil (Sept. 2-6).

The FIVB Rio Open will be 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.

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.

The 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour schedule will include five FIVB Grand Slams, the new Swatch FIVB Major Series of three events, seven FIVB Opens and a special Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final in the United States. The showcase event was the $1 million 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands (June 26-July 5).

A total of 15 countries will host events this year as the 2015 FIVB World Tour also begins the Olympic qualification process with all FIVB World Tour events (except the FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 up until June 13, 2016 counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs will return as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.


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