Lausanne, Switzerland, June 24, 2015 - When the 2015 FIVB “senior” Beach Volleyball World Championships open Friday in The Netherlands, the competition will feature several firsts along with producing other interesting facts and figures.
A total of 192 players forming 96 teams from 40 countries will be competing in US$1-million competition with 48 tandems participating in each gender. The 2015 world championships conclude July 4 for women and July 5 for men when the medal matches will be played in The Hague.
• The Netherlands is hosting the world championships for the first time.
• The 2015 event will be the first FIVB World Tour event to be held at four different sites - Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Rotterdam and The Hague. The 2014 Dutch Grand Slam was the first FIVB World Tour to be held at multi sites in Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and The Hague.
• For the first-time, the men’s and women’s gold medal teams will also secure a spot for their country in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The winning pairs at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 only received points towards qualifying from the FIVB World Tour to the Summer Games in Athens, Beijing and London, respectively.
• With all five FIVB confederations represented in the world championships, the 2015 world championships will mark the first-time that the African continent will have four participating countries in each gender’s competition.
• For the first-time, the placement of teams in pools was held more than two months prior to the start of the competition. In previous editions, the seeding of teams was held only weeks prior to the start of play.
• There will be an “official” FIVB World Championships anthem for the first-time. The "Kings and queens of the beach" is a three-minute song composed by DJ/producer Frederik Abas:
DEFENDING & FORMER CHAMPIONS
• While Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen return to defend their men’s world championship, the women will crown a new champion as China’s Chen Xue/Xi Zhang claimed the gold medal at the 2013 FIVB World Championships in Stare Jablonki, Poland. Due to an injury, Xue withdrew from the 2015 event after entering with 18-year old Xinyi Xia.
• Previous world championship teams in the 2015 event are Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos. The Brazilians topped the 2003 world championship podium in Rio de Janeiro. Emanuel also captured FIVB World Championship titles with Jose Loiola (1999 Marseille) and Alison Cerutti (2011 Rome).
• Joining Alison, Emanuel and Ricardo as other former world champions in the 2015 field are Americans Jen Kessy, April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, and Brazilians Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca. Kessy and Ross, who teamed to win the 2009 world title, are playing with Emily Day and Walsh Jennings, respectively, this year. Walsh Jennings and Missy May-Treanor topped the world championship podium in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Juliana and Larissa were the 2011 world champions.
OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS & MEDALISTS
• Emanuel and Ricardo captured the men’s gold medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. The Brazilians also claimed the bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Summer Games. Both have silver Olympic medals with Ricardo finishing second at the Sydney 2000 competition with ZeMarco deMelo with Emanuel netting the second spot on the London 2012 podium with Alison.
• Walsh Jennings teamed with May-Treanor to top the women’s podium at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games.
• Other Olympic medal winners competing in the 2015 world championships are Spain’s Pablo Herrera (silver with Javier Bosma in Athens 2004), and London 2012 podium placers Kessy/Ross (silver) and Juliana/Larissa (bronze).
• Russian teenagers Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin, who were a late addition to the 2015 world championship field, captured the gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
FIVB WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONS
• Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia Juliana/Maria Antonelli from Brazil, the top men’s and women teams from the 2014 world tour, are competing in the 2015 world championships. The Latvians are two-time world tour leaders after claiming the title in 2013.
• Emanuel and Ricardo were the top team on FIVB World Tour for five-straight seasons (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007).
Firsts, Facts & Figures
2015 FIVB WORLD TOUR
• The 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour schedule features five FIVB Grand Slams, three SWATCH Major Series, the FIVB ‘senior” Beach Volleyball World Championships, the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Season Final, and 10 FIVB Open events. The schedule started in April in China and concludes in December in South Africa.
• The total prize money for the 2015 FIVB World Tour for men and women is US$9.25-million.
• The 2015 campaign marks the 29th anniversary of the first FIVB Beach Volleyball men’s event held February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The first women’s event was held in 1992 in Spain.
• Dutchmen Brouwer and Meeuwsen enter the 2015 world championships as the top-ranked team on the men’s international circuit with a five-event total of 2,540 points. The pair has placed first (Croatia), second (China and Switzerland), fifth (Russia) and ninth (Norway) this season.
• Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas lead the women’s 2015 FIVB World Tour with a five-event total of 2,860 points. Agatha and Barbara have two firsts (Czech Republic and United States), a second (Norway), a fifth (Croatia) and a ninth (Russia).
• Each of the six men’s events have had a different winning team as pairs from Brazil (Norway), Germany (China), Italy (Switzerland), The Netherlands (Croatia), Spain (Russia) and the United States (United States) have won gold medals.
• The pairs of Brouwer/Meeuwsen (China, Switzerland and Croatia) and Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg (Russia and Norway) of Brazil are the only men’s teams with multi medals during the 2015 season.
• Led by The Netherlands, 10 countries have claimed men’s medals on 2015 FIVB World Tour. The Dutch have four medals, including a gold and three silvers. Brazil (gold and silver), Germany (gold and bronze), Italy (gold and bronze), Poland (silver and bronze) and the United States (gold and bronze) have two medals each. Canada (silver), France (bronze), Spain (gold) and Turkey (bronze) have also captured medals this season.
• The bronze medal by Turkey at the Lucerne Open was the country’s first-ever podium placement on the FIVB World Tour for men or women.
• After pairs from Canada (China) and Germany (Switzerland) captured the first two women’s stops in 2015, Brazilians have dominated the top podium spot in the last five events in the Czech Republic, Russia, Croatia, Norway and the United States.
• The pairs of Agatha/Barbara (Czech Republic and United States) and Talita Antunes/Larissa (Russia and Croatia) are two-time winners on the 2015 international circuit.
• Other winners were Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas of Canada (China), Karla Borger/Britta Buthe of Germany (Switzerland) and Juliana/Antonelli (Norway).
• After sweeping the podium at the United States Grand Slam, Brazil women has claimed nine (five golds, two silvers, two bronze) medals on the 2015 FIVB World Tour. Canada is second with four medals (one gold, two silvers, and one bronze) followed by The Netherlands (3 medals - two silvers and a bronze), Germany (2, a gold and silver), Australia (1, bronze), Italy (1, bronze) and the United States (1, bronze).
• The Canadian medals were the first-ever for the women from the North American country since the start of the FIVB World Tour in 1992.