Stare Jablonki a ‘happening’ FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam
A quiet village in the Mazury region of Poland will again become the center of the beach volleyball world from August 19-24 as Stare Jablonki gears up to host the FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam, the 10th and final Grand Slam of the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
While there have been 22 all-time total FIVB World Tour events held in Poland, the competition in 2014 will be 11th men’s and sixth women’s FIVB World Tour event held on the spacious grounds of the luxurious Anders Hotel in Stare Jablonki. In 2013, Stare Jablonki and the Anders Hotel played host to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Featuring men’s-only competition for the first four years starting in 2004, Stare Jablonki had a double gender FIVB Open tournament in 2008. It then moved up a step to hold Poland's first FIVB Grand Slam in 2009. This will be the 11th consecutive year that Stare Jablonki will have hosted a FIVB international men’s tournament and the seventh consecutive year for a FIVB international women’s event.
Besides Stare Jablonki, the other Polish sites of FIVB international events have been Myslowice and Warsaw. Myslowice also hosted the FIVB Beach Volelyball Under 19 World Championships (2006) and the FIVB Beach Volleyball Under 21 World Championships in 2007.
Poland has hosted a total of 22 FIVB World Tour events (12 men, 10 women) over a 10-year period with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals, Brazil has 13 medals, followed by the USA with six, Germany with five each, Spain with three, and with one men’s medal each in Stare Jablonki are Argentina, Australia, Austria, China, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Switzerland.
After 10 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Poland, Brazil leads the medal parade with 14 total medals followed by China with five, Germany and USA with three each, Italy with two and with one women’s medal in Poland are Australia, the Netherlands and Norway.
Winning the gold medal at the men’s 2013 FIVB World Championships in Stare Jablonki was the duo of Alexendar Brouwer/Robert Meeuswen of the Netherlands, while China’s two-time Olympians Chen Xue/Xi Zhang did the honours in the women's competition.
Stare Jablonki is a quaint village with a permanent population of about 700 located in the Mazury region of northern Poland, resting on the pristine shores of Lake Mazury.
The 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will include 10 double-gender FIVB Grand Slam tournaments along with the inaugural FIVB Grand Slam and eleven FIVB Beach Volleyball Open events.
This year's FIVB World Ranking system will include FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam and Open events along with additional pre-approved events at the inter-continental, continental and national levels.
Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds.
The 2014-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup also returns this year as it starts its portion of the qualification process for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.