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The Argentine team celebrating their important step in Cypurs

Larnaka, Cyprus, July 12, 2012 - At the closing of the preliminary round of the U 19 Beach Volleyball World Championship, the Argentine team of Facundo Funes-Samuel De Elorza won this Thursday their second match in Pool J advancing as best second team to the first round.

The team from Mar del Plata closed their participation at Pool J with an easy 2-0 (21-9, 21-14) over Namibia's Tin Hiupic-Gerard Fisher. The Australian team of Staples-Walker won the first place, qualifying directly for the second round.

Escaping from elimination Thursday after playing the last of three pool play matches, 24 of the world’s best young men’s best teams representing 22 countries have moved forward to the start of Friday’s single-elimination rounds on the sun-baked Larnaka sand at the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championships, the 11th annual event for players under 19, which is being held through Saturday in a special purpose-built complex featuring the stadium center court at Finikoudes Beach on the shores of the glistening waters of the peaceful Mediterranean Sea.

After playing the last of three pool play matches Thursday, the field of 32 men’s teams in the double-gender event was pared to 24 for Friday’s first round, round of 16 and quarterfinals in the evening session. The semifinals will be held Saturday morning and the medal matches are scheduled for Saturday evening under the Cyprus stars in each gender with the women’s gold medal match at 7 p.m. followed at 8 p.m. for the men’s gold medal match.

Host country Cyprus and Poland advanced two teams each to the men’s single elimination bracket play while the countries with single tandems advancing were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Peru, Russia, Spain, Thailand and the United States.

With 32 teams divided into eight four-team pools, eight teams were 3-0 to win their respective pools. The top three teams in each of the eight pools advances to the single-elimination ‘knockout rounds’ on Friday and Saturday. Admission to the event is free for the entire week at the Finikoudes complex. A total of 63 teams (32 men and 31 women) from 34 countries are in Cyprus at the 2012 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships.

Undefeated with 3-0 records to win their respective pools in the round-round pool play were: Brazil’s 10th-seeded Iago Christianes/Leonardo Morais, Germany’s fourth-seeded Max Betzien/Max-Jonas Karpa, Lithuania’s 22nd-seeded Gilbertas Kerpe/Arnas Rumsevicius, Norway’s second-seeded Bjarne Huus/Christian Sorum, Poland’s third-seeded Lukasz Kaczmarek/Sebastian Kaczmarek, Poland’s 24th-seeded Michael Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak and Russia’s fifth-seeded Viacheslav Kirienko/Dimitry Uraikin.

Each of those undefeated teams received the top eight placement positions on the bracket for the single-elimination portion of the championships that starts Friday morning at 9 a.m. at the Finikoudes Beach complex.

Six of the eight unbeaten teams in pool play also were perfect within their matches with unblemished 6-0 set records as well—Brazil’s Christianes/Morais, Lithuania’s Kerpe/Rumsevicius, Norway’s Huus/Sorum, both Poland’s Lukasz Kaczmarek/Sebastian Kaczmarek and Bryl/Kujawaik along with Russia’s Kirienko/Uraikin.

Both with 1-2 records and seeds based on being the host country of the event, the two Cyprus teams who advanced to the elimination phase were top-seeded Krill Rudenko/Konstantinos Yiannakkos and sixth-seeded Minos Agathakleoous/Michail Panagiotis.

This Friday, the Argentine team will face during the morning the Japanese team of Kurokawa-Tsuiki, that advanced as third best team in Pool P with a record of win-loss 1-2 with the match won in a tie-breaker definition.

If the light blue - white team wins on this first round, then they will also Friday but in the afternoon a very hard rival, the Polish Kaczmarek-Kaczmarek, who won Pool L and one of them, winner of the title in last year's competition in Umag, Kroatia.

(U 19 Beach Volleyball World Championship 2012)