Lausanne, Switzerland, January
9, 2010 - After staging a “successful” single gender event in 2009, the Italian Volleyball Federation will increase
its involvement on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour by hosting a men’s and women’s Grand Slam event May 17-23 in Rome
as a prelude to the 2011 SWATCH FIVB World Championships.
The Italian capital hosted its first-ever SWATCH FIVB World Tour event in 2009 when Germany’s
Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann won men’s titles on the Parco del Foro Italico center court. It was Brink and
Reckermann’s first of four SWATCH gold medals in 2009 as the German pair captured the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships
in Norway followed by Grand Slam title in Switzerland and Russia.
All four gold medal wins were over Brazilian tandems as Brink and Reckermann finished the
2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball season as the top team on the SWATCH tour after edging Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques of Brazil
for the point’s championship. Alison and Harley placed third in the inaugural Rome event after dropping a three-set
semi-final to compatriots Pedro Cunha and Pedro Cunha.
The Rome Grand Slam will feature US$600,000 in prize money and will be the first of six
“major” events on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar. The women’s event in Rome will be the
first in Italy since 2006 when Modena hosted the season-opening event in May 2006 where Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva
and Larissa França upset American Olympic and world champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh in the finale.
The international circuit will start in April and conclude in November with SWATCH stops
at 17 sites in 14 countries.With the 2010 calendar featuring 15 women’s and 14 men’s events within the Asian,
European and South American confederations, the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour will offer $6.82-million in prize money.
Twelve of the tournaments will be combined men’s and women’s events, including all six Grand Slam stops.
Women’s-only stops will be in China (Sanya), Korea (Seoul) and Thailand (Phuket).
After a year’s absence, the Czech Republic capital of Prague returns to the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar and
will stage the second of two men’s-only events in June following the Polish stop in Myslowice in late May.
The Polish village of Stare Jablonki joins Rome as the two new Grand Slam events on this
year’s calendar. While the Italian capital hosted its first FIVB event in 2009, Stare Jablonki started as a fixture
on the international calendar in 2004 as a men’s-only event. The last two editions in the Mazury region of Poland
also featured women’s play in 2008 and 2009.
The $2.4-million SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slam series will also return to Austria (Klagenfurt),
Norway (Stavanger), Russia (Moscow) and Switzerland (Gstaad). Moscow will be staging its fifth SWATCH stop with the
2010 event being its third-year of Grand Slam competition. The Russian capital hosted men’s-only events in 1998
and 1999 before joining the Grand Slam schedule in 2008.
Klagenfurt, Gstaad and Stavanger have each staged 10 or more FIVB-sanctioned Beach Volleyball
events. All three sites have previously hosted the SWATCH FIVB World Championships with Klagenfurt in 2001, Gstaad in
2007 and Stavanger in 2009. Klagenfurt joined the international schedule in 1997 with a men’s event with the women
joining the Austrian competition schedule in 2001. Stavanger hosted a men’s event in 1999 with women’s play
starting in 2002. Gstaad’s first SWATCH stop was a women’s event in 2000 with the men joining the competition
format in the Swiss village the next year.
The opening event on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar will be a double gender event
in Brasília April 19-25 as the Brazilian capital will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on the third day of competition.
During the April 21 Brasília celebration, crowds of more than 1-million will be attending various holiday activities around
the SWATCH event. Brazil has staged a SWATCH FIVB World Tour even every year since the start of the international circuit
for men in 1987 and women in 1992.
China and Norway join Poland in each staging two SWATCH FIVB World Tour stops in 2010.
The Chinese port city of Shanghai will host the international circuit for the seventh year. Following a women’s
event in 2004, Shanghai has staged double gender stops since 2005. The Norwegian resort village of Kristiansand will
be hosting a double gender event for the fourth-straight year.
Mariehamn in the Finnish islands of Åland and The Hague in The Netherlands are also on
the 2010 calendar. The two events will conclude the men’s international schedule in late August while the women’s
competition will end in October and November with events in Sanya and Phuket, respectively.
The international Beach Volleyball calendar will also feature world championships for players
under the age of 21. Portugal will host the 2010 SWATCH FIVB Youth World Championships July 21-25 in Porto for players
under the age of 19. For the second-straight year, Turkey will host a world finale as Alanya will be the site September
15-19 for the 2010 SWATCH FIVB Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21. The U19 world championships
in 2009 were held in Alanya before England hosted the U21s in Blackpool.
IMG Sports Media will continue to have the exclusive distribution media rights for the
2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour. A new Mikasa ball, the VLS 300, will be used after being introduced last October and November
at events in Sanya and Phuket.