Olympic beach volleyball champions start with a win at Toronto's Polson Pier

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - Day two of competition started strong at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals at Toronto's Polson Pier. With the city skyline in the background, fans watched the first upset of the tournament as the Brazilians Pedro/Evandro lost 1-2 to Bourne/Hyden from the USA.

The Brazilian team came to Toronto after a first-place win at the Long Beach Grand Slam, but despite winning the first set, they could not hold off Hyden/Bourne. "I always expect us to win", Bourne proudly told the media after the match.

Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Finals is a story of redemption for "The Lion King" Aleksandrs Samoilovs and partner Janis Smedins as they try and put their Olympic disappointment behind them. The A1 Major Klagenfurt champions made a shocking group stage exit from the Copacabana, but won their home tournament in Latvia before arriving in Canada. They opened up their tournament with a 2-1 win over Polish duo Fijalek/Prudel.

"What happened in Rio happened, and we can't change that," Samoilovs said. "It will be tough this week because it's the best of the best here. Ten years ago when I started playing there were five/eight teams with a chance of a medal at each competition, but now anyone in the main draw can medal."

Brazilian superstar Talita Antunes gave the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals a massive thumbs up after she and Larissa Franca beat local heroes Broder /Valjas on Center Court. The defending champions from Fort Lauderdale Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Final 2015, started strong with a straight sets victory against the Canadians.

"It's the best tournament, it's got the best 12 teams and it's tough," Talita said. "We're happy to be back and play the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. Everyone is looking towards the big finals. We're here and will fight all the way to try and win first place again."

Toronto fans are invited to Polson Pier every day until the finals on September 18. For all match times, visit the court schedule on https://ca.swatchmajorseries.com. Admission is free at all times.

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ABOUT SWATCH MAJOR SERIES

The Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series arose out of a joint venture between the Austrian Companies Red Bull and Hannes Jagerhofer, founder and CEO of the ACTS group. Red Bull, established in the 1980's by Dietrich Mateschitz, is one of the world's most famous brands, its direct marketing focusing on sports and lifestyle. ACTS Group, an agency founded in 1990, is a full service provider of event-marketing, external communication and online services and famous in the world of sports for its outstanding organizational qualities shown at the Beach Volleyball tournament in Klagenfurt/Carinthia. The collaboration of a worldwide successful brand and an experienced promoter takes Beach Volleyball to a whole new level. Furthermore another strong partner is on board: Swatch supports the sport and its athletes, being title sponsor of the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series. It displays a cooperation in order to develop Beach Volleyball as the world's number one summer sports event and to achieve the following vision: "Establish Beach Volleyball as a multimedial sports-entertainment event for athletes, fans & partners."

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SOURCE Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series

Image with caption: "Evandro Goncalves (BRA) and Pedro Solberg (BRA) (CNW Group/Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160915_C2989_PHOTO_EN_773743.jpg

For further information: Caroline Dunnet, Edelman, 647-252-2864/416-816-9947, caroline.dunnet@edelman.com; Victoria Neufeld, Edelman, 416-849-8921, victoria.neufeld@edelman.com

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