The women's podium at the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Brasilia Open. Photo: fivb.orgThe first event of the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour from Brasilia, Brazil has concluded today with the final matches on the men's side of the tournament completing. The women's side of the event saw the #1 ranked Juliana/Larissa of Brazil take the gold over the Olympic defending champions, May-Treanor/Walsh of The United States. The US also claimed the last spot on the podium with Kessy/Ross clinching the bronze medal against fellow Americans Fendrick/Hanson.
The Americans also did quite well on the men's side of the tournament with the #1 ranked Rogers/Dalhausser claiming gold over the home crowd favourite of Alison/Emanuel of Brazil. The bronze medal match went in favour of Wu/Xu of China in a three set showdown.
None of the three Canadian teams in the tournament made the main draw, however with China on the horizon, we hope to see more Canadian representation at the international level.
From a spectator's perspective, this first event was fairly easy to follow. At any given time, there were three to five live streams going allowing fans to watch as many matches as possible. There were, however, hiccups with coverage. Unfortunately some of those live streams were hosted by online gambling websites that not only required registration to their website, but also required you to deposit money into your account to view the stream. This was an instant deterrent for those just wanting to watch volleyball. Let's face it they aren't in the live streaming business, they are in the gambling business. The other problem with the live streams was that TV blackout agreements made many of them blocked in certain countries. It's unfortunate that with the global volleyball community, who doesn't get that much television coverage as it is and is really starting to form a foundation with free live streaming video, is still at the mercy of television networks and government regulations.
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