Lausanne, Switzerland, February 5, 2017 – Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena enjoyed the perfect tonic ahead of the start of the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour by beating current Olympic champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt in the ‘Giants of the Beach’ event in Rio de Janeiro.
The competition featured a men’s and women’s exhibition match at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Rio, just a few kilometres along the coast from where Alison and Bruno ended Brazil’s 12-year wait for one of their teams to be crowned Olympic champions, at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
The Giants of the Beach event was played at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro.
In the women’s tournament Rio 2016 silver medallist Agatha Bednarczuk and new partner Eduarda ‘Duda Lisboa Santos beat Ana Patricia and Rebecca Silva 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in front of a crowd of 3,189.
Both 2008 Olympic champion Dalhausser and Lucena and Alison and Bruno will now travel north to compete in the World Tour opening Fort Lauderdale Major Series event that runs from February 7-12.
It is the US pair who go with a win under their belts having prevailed 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) over the team that knocked them out of Rio 2016 at the quarterfinal stage and who beat them in the final when the Florida city hosted the 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals.
“It was wonderful (to play here),” Alison said. “Playing in such arenas is common in Europe, but in Brazil we don’t usually use these type of place but I believe the public loved it.”
“We feel that our sport has improved hosting it here, so hopefully we can host more tournaments in this venue,” Bruno added. “With this venue you should easily be able to host a World Tour event. The beach is great, but you can also have great events away from the beach.”