Gstaad ready to welcome back World Tour for 19th-straight season in July


The FIVB World Tour returns to Gstaad for the 19th-straight season

Gstaad, Switzerland, June 19, 2018 - For the 19th-straight season, Gstaad will host an FIVB World Tour event as the main draw and qualifying lineups were released here on Tuesday for the international beach volleyball event from July 9-15 in the Swiss Alps village.

A total of 121 men’s and women’s teams from 31 countries are currently entered in the Gstaad Major where $600,000 in prize money will be awarded at the second Beach Major Series events on the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour calendar.

Gstaad Major play starts on July 9 with country quota playoff matches for tandems from Austria, Brazil and the United States. Qualifying for both men and women will be on July 9 to set the field for the opening pool play rounds the next day. The men’s final two matches will be played on July 14 and the women’s medal rounds will be on July 15 as the winning pairs will share the $40,000 first-place prizes.

Headlining the entries will be reigning Gstaad Major champions Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States and Chantel Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany along with the new Brazilian men’s partnerships created by breakup reigning Olympic and World Championship teams from the South American country.

Nick Lucena (left) and Swiss-born Phil Dalhausser of the United States topped the 2017 Gstaad Major men's podium.

Dalhausser and Lucena, who teamed to win the first 2018 Beach Major Series event at the start of March in the United States, defeated Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) in the 38-minute finale last July in Gstaad. It was the Swiss-born Dalhausser’s fourth Gstaad gold medal, including the 2007 World Championship title with Todd Rogers.

Laboureur and Sude were the surprise winning team in Gstaad last season as the Germans upset Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil 2-0 (21-18, 22-20) in the 36-minute gold medal match. It was Laboureur and Sude’s second Beach Major Series title after topping the podium at the 2016 Porec Major in Croatia.

German gold medal winners Julia Sude (left) and Chantal Laboureur (right) with Gstaad tournament promoter Ruedi Kunz.

As for the Brazilian men, Rio 2016 Olympic champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt have ended their partnership with the former now teaming with Andre Loyola while the latter is competing now with Pedro Solberg. Prior to the split, Andre was playing with Evandro Goncalves as the duo claimed the gold medal at the FIVB 2017 World Championships in Austria last August at Vienna.

Alison is a two-time Gstaad winner, including a 2015 title with Bruno.  Solberg is also a two-time gold medal recipient in the Swiss Village highlighted by a 2016 crown with Evandro. While Alison and Loyola are playing together for the first time, Bruno and Solberg have history with two gold medals together in 2013 on the FIVB World Tour that also featured a second place in Gstaad where the pair dropped the two-set finale to compatriots Alvaro Filho and Ricardo Santos.

Bruno Oscar Schmidt (left) and Pedro Salgado netted a silver medal for Brazil at the 2013 Gstaad Major.

Three weeks prior to the Gstaad Major, the FIVB World Tour will stage events in the Czech Republic (Ostrava), Singapore and Turkey (Manavgat).