Lausanne, Switzerland, September 7, 2015 — Back to Russia for the second time in 2015, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) will be in Sochi as the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues this week with the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Sochi Open. Visiting Sochi for the first time, the internationally-televised FIVB Sochi Open will be held at the Sport Inn Sports Centre.
With the FIVB World Tour visiting Russia for the 11th consecutive year and second time this season, starting the FIVB Sochi Open will be 45 men’s teams from 20 countries along with 46 women’s teams from 24 countries.
The $150,000 FIVB Sochi Open will be held this Tuesday through Sunday and the event is the second visit to Russia this year for the FIVB World Tour as the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam was held in late May. This week’s tournament in Russia is the last of four straight double-gender events as the 2015 FIVB World Tour concludes with five events on tap in a six-week window. Following this event will be a week off before the $150,000 FIVB Xiamen Open in China (Sept. 22-27), the final points event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour.
The FIVB Sochi Open will be a 32-team event, per gender. Running parallel schedules, it will start on Tuesday with a qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team main draw followed by two days of round robin pool play. The top 24 teams will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds on Friday and Saturday through the semifinals with the men’s and women’s medal matches on Sunday.
RUSSIA’S FIVB HISTORY
Through this year’s tournament in Moscow, Russia has hosted 30 total previous FIVB World Tour events (16 men, 14 women) including that last 11 straight seasons. While this is the first event in Sochi, Moscow has hosted 18 total events. St. Petersburg has hosted eight total events, followed by Anapa with four total events. As is the case in most countries, Brazil is leading the medal count in both genders.
In the men’s totals after 16 events, Brazil has 16 medals, followed by Germany with seven, the United States with six, host Russia with five, Switzerland three, Latvia and Netherlands two each and with one men’s medal each in Russia are Argentina, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
After 14 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Russia through this year’s Moscow tournament, Brazil leads the medal parade with 15 total medals followed by the United States with nine, China with six, Germany and host Russia with four each, Netherlands with two and with one women’s medal each in Russia are Italy and Spain.
WELCOME TO SOCHI
Sochi is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia and Russia. The Greater Sochi area, which includes territories and localities subordinated to Sochi proper, has a total area of 3,526 square kilometers (1,361 sq mi) and sprawls for 145 kilometers (90 mi) along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains. According to the 20`0 Census, the city had a permanent population of 343,334 making it Russia's largest resort city. Being part of the Caucasian Riviera, it is one of the very few places in Russia with a subtropical climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters.
With the alpine and Nordic events held at the nearby ski resort of Roza Khutor, Sochi hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014, as well as the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014 until at least 2020. It will also be one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
As the host nation for the FIVB Sochi Open, Russia has three men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two more teams in the qualification tournament. Russia’s main draw teams are provisional top-seeded Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov, 13th-seeded Dmitri Barsouk/Yaroslav Koshkarev and 23rd-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin. Men’s teams in the qualifier from Russia are third-seeded Alexander Likholetov/Ilya Leshukov and 18th-seeded Ivan Golovin/Maxim Sivolap.
As the host nation, Russia has three women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two teams in the women’s qualification tournament. Russia’s main draw teams are provisional top-seeded Evgenia Ukolova/Ekaterina Birlova, 16th-seeded Ekaterina Syrtseva/Yulia Abalakina and 20th-seeded Maria Prokopeva/Anastasia Barsuk.
Women’s teams in the qualifier from Russia are fifth-seeded Olga Motrich/Nadezda Makroguzova and 18th-seeded Bakhtygul Samalikova/Anna Yeleferenko.
For the FIVB Sochi Open, preliminary revised top men’s seeds are Russia’s top-seeded Semenov/Krasilnikov, Latvia’s No. 2 Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Italy’s No. 3 Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo, Poland’s No. 4 Michal Kadziola/Jakub Szalankiewicz and Venezuela’s No. 5 Jesus Villafne/Jackson Henriquez..
For the FIVB Sochi Open, preliminary revised top women’s seeds are Russia’s top-seeded Ukolova/Birlova, Brazil’s No. 2 Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli, Italy’s third-seeded Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, China’s fourth-seeded Fan Wang/Yuan Yue and Switzerland’s fifth-seeded Isabelle orrer/Anouk Verge-Depre.
FIVB SOCHI OPEN PURSE
The gold medal team in each gender at the FIVB Sochi 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.
The FIVB Sochi Open will be the 327th men’s event since the FIVB began men’s competition in 1987 and the 291st FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.
ON THE HORIZON
After this week’s FIVB Sochi Open in Russia and prior to the US$500,000 Swatch FIVB World Tour finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., United States, the FIVB World Tour will take a week off before holding its final event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour at the FIVB Xiamen Open (Sept. 22-27) in China. The 2016 FIVB World Tour with placement points counting in the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will begin the week after the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals at the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open (Oct. 5-11) in Mexico.