Yokohama, Japan, July 20, 2015 – After 20 years for men and six for women,the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns to Japan for the FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam and gets underway with the women’s and men’s qualification tournaments on July 21.
The double gender $800,000 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam marks the first time both men and women have competed together in a FIVB World Tour event in Japan.
Holtwick and Semler enter Yokohama after just missing out on the bronze medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands last month. The pair rank third in the qualification tournament earning a bye into the second round to face either Japan’s Onoda/Tanaka or China’s Y.Y. Ma/X. Y. Xia on the opening day of the Yokohama Grand Slam.
Carol/Maria Clara are also back in action in Japan after a ninth place finish in Gstaad and along with fellow Brazilians Lima/Fernanda, are favourites to earn a place in the main draw.
Lucena/Brunner (USA) lead the seeding in the men’s qualification tournament followed by Poland’s Kadziola/Szalankiewicz and Italy’s Ranghieri/Carambula. A number of other familiar faces will have to battle their way into the main draw including Horrem/Eithun from Norway and Austrians Huber/Seidl.
This year’s FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will be the third of five double-gender FIVB Grand Slams, each with a total purse of $800,000, on the FIVB World Tour 2015. Seven FIVB men’s only events were held in Japan from 1989-1995 with six being held in Enoshima and one in Yokohama in 1991. A total of 14 women’s only events were held in Osaka from 1994-2005 and in 2008 and 2009.
Japan has hosted a total of 21 FIVB World Tour events (seven men, 14 women) with the United States leading the medal count for men and Brazil dominating the medal tally for women.
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 Kanto 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 is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo, and Chiba.
Following the Yokohama Grand Slam the 2015 FIVB World Tour will have a three-week break before resuming in the United States with the double-gender FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in Southern California set for August 18-23.