Stars of the game confirmed for Dutch World Championships

The Hague, Netherlands, March 20, 2015 - The entry lists for the men's and women's competitions at the  FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015 promise a unique and memorable event in the Dutch cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and Rotterdam this summer.

The brightest stars in the beach volleyball world are diligently preparing to take their part in the event. Anchored in The Hague, the Beach Volleyball World Championships will be held from June 26-July 5.

With a total of 96 teams (48 in each gender), teams will be competing for part of a $1 million purse as the Netherlands hosts an FIVB international event for the sixth consecutive year. Preliminary pool play will be hosted by all four cities, along with the first round of elimination play for the 32 teams remaining per gender following three rounds of pool play. The semifinals and finals in each gender with all be played on the stadium court in The Hague.

Main draws
While men’s teams from Brazil, Germany and the United States have combined for 38 final four placements in the first nine FIVB World Championships, and women’s teams from Brazil and the United States have combined to earn 26 final four finishes, teams from the Netherlands and China won the 2013 men and women’s gold medals respectively in Stare Jablonki, Poland.

Dutch men’s champions Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen will be back to defend their title on home sand, while 2013 women’s champion China’s Chen Xue is set to return with new teammate Xinyi Xia.

Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik won the men’s bronze in 2013 and are on the entry list again this year. On the women’s side, Germany’s 2013 silver medalists Karla Borger/Britta Buthe are entered again.

Brazil’s former men’s final four finishing players on the 2015 entry list are Emanuel Rego, Ricardo Santos, Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho. They are joined by USA’s former final four finisher Phil Dalhausser and Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins and Russia’s Dmitri Barsouk.

In addition to China’s Xue and Germany’s Borger/Buthe, prior women’s final four finishing players on the 2015 entry list include Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta, Larissa Franca, Maria Antonelli, Talita Antunes and Barbara Seixas and USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross and Jen Kessy.

Brazil’s Emanuel/Ricardo duo is playing together again this year. They won the 2003 FIVB World Championship together in Rio de Janeiro. Emanuel has won two other gold medals (1999 with Jose Loiola and 2011 with Alison). Emanuel also finished fourth with Alison in 2013. Ricardo has also won two silver medals (2001 with Loiola and 2013 with Filho). Alison is playing this year with Bruno Oscar Schmidt, while Filho is teamed with Vitor Felipe.

For USA, Dalhausser and Rogers won a gold medal (2007) and a bronze (2011) as a team. This year Dalhausser is entered with Sean Rosenthal. Latvia’s Plavins and J. Smedins finished fourth in 2011. Smedis and Aleksandrs Samoilovs are entered this year. Samoilovs/J. Smedins have been the No.1-ranked men’s team in the world each of the last two years. Russia’s Barsouk won the silver in 2007 with Igor Kolodinsky and is teamed with Nikita Liamin this year.

Playing previously with Xi Zhang, China’s Xue earned one gold medal (2013), one bronze (2011) and one fourth place finish (2007).

For Brazil, Juliana and Larissa won three medals when they competed together - gold (2011), silver (2009) and bronze (2007). Juliana is now teamed with Antonelli and Larissa and Talita are now teammates. Antonelli and Talita won a bronze playing together in Stavanger and the Juliana/Antonelli duo won the 2015 FIVB World Tour point title and were ranked No. 1 in the world. Seixas won a bronze medal in 2013 teamed with Liliane Maestrini. Larissa/Talita won four FIVB World Tour gold medals in six events last year.

USA’s legendary champion Walsh Jennings won three consecutive gold medals in the FIVB World Championships (2003, 2005 and 2007) playing with the now-retired Misty May-Traenor. Walsh Jennings is now playing with April Ross. Ross won the gold medal (2009) with Jen Kessy who took time off and is playing now with Emily Day.

Prior to this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands, previous world championships have been held in the United States (Los Angeles, 1997), France (Marseille,1999), Austria (Klagenfurt, 2001), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, 2003), Germany (Berlin, 2005), Switzerland (Gstaad, 2007), Norway (Stavanger, 2009), Italy (Rome, 2011) and Poland (Stare Jablonki, 2013).

This will be the sixth FIVB international competition held in the Netherlands with the other five double-gender events all held in The Hague in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships are held once every two years.

The men’s championship team of the 2014 FIVB The Hague Grand Slam was Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel. Winning last year’s women’s gold medal in The Hague was the new Brazilian duo of Fernanda Alves/Taiana Lima. Both teams are entered in this year’s FIVB World Championships.

2015 World Tour
Starting April 21 in China, the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar will include five FIVB Grand Slams, the new FIVB Swatch Major Series of three events, six FIVB Opens and a special Swatch FIVB Season Final in the United States. The showcase event will be the $1 million 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands.


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