After winning Friday morning, Megumi Murakami (left) and Miki Ishii of Japan celebrate in the press center at the Rio Open
Rio de Janeiro, May 19, 2017 - With a steady rain throughout the playing of four rounds of men’s and women’s pool play here Friday morning, eight pairs advanced to each gender’s 24-team elimination brackets as eight duos in each gender’s competition were ousted from the US$300,000 Rio Open that is being played at the tennis center located at the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca.
Three women’s and four men’s teams made seed-break-throughs to reach Friday afternoon’s elimination rounds where another 16 matches per gender will be played to set the field for Saturday’s quarter- and semi-final matches. The Rio Open concludes Sunday morning with the playing of the medal matches where the winning teams will each share the $20,000 first-place prizes.
Leading the way with a seed-break-through win to reach the final elimination rounds were Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami as the 32nd-seeded women’s qualifying team from Japan posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-12) victory in 35 minutes over 17th-seeded Elsa Baquerizo/Angela Lobato of Spain.
Joining the Japanese in breaking-through were 25th-seeded Ekaterina Birlova/Nadezda Makroguzova of Russia and 26th-seeded qualifiers Jolien Sinnema/Joy Stubbe of The Netherlands. All four of the lower seeded (25th or below) men's teams reaching the elimination rounds played in Wednesday's qualifier, including 25th-seeded Mathias Berntsen/Christian Sorum of Norway, 27th-seeded Maarten Van Garderen/Christiaan Varenhorst of The Netherlands, 29th-seeded Oscar Brandao/Hevaldo Moreira of Brazil and 30th-seeded Julian Horl/Alexander Huber of Austria.
Following the Rio Open, the next stop on the FIVB World Tour will be May 31-June 4 in Moscow for a three-star event in the Russian capital. Highlighting the 2017 international calendar for men and women Beach Volleyball players will be the $1-million FIVB World Championships July 28 through August 6 in Austria and the $800,000 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals August 23-27 in Hamburg, Germany.