Austria and the Netherlands won gold at the CEV Continental Cup Final. The Continental Cup features nations with two teams each facing off against each other. Each nation designates a team 1 and a team 2. In the first two matches team 1 faces off against the other nation’s team 2. In the event that the series is split a final match using any team is played. In total 16 nations faced off against each other in a single elimination tournament. The winner of the European Continental Cup qualifies to the Olympics. The final of the Beach Volleyball European Continental Cup was held in Stavanger, Norway from June 22nd to June 26th 2016.
The women’s tournament saw Ukraine as the tournament’s upset package as the team went through Norway, Sweden and Austria as they booked their spot to the final. The other half of the bracket was relatively upset free where the Czech Republic and the Netherlands met in the semi-final. The Netherlands booked its spot to the final as their number two team defeated the Czech’s number one team to give the Netherlands a 2-0 series victory. In the final a third match was required as the Netherlands became the victorious nation to book their spot to the Olympics. In the bronze medal match the Czech Republic defeated Austria 2-0.
One of the interesting aspects of the Continental Cup is the fact that two beach volleyball teams are competing for one nation. Sometimes you have a nation with a strong team and a relatively weaker team. An excellent example was seen in the men’s tournament where Belgium contained a 10th seed and a 32nd seed team. For every single match involving Belgium the nation had to play three matches with the 10th seed team playing the deciding third match. Despite the increased play time Belgium was able to reach the final as they defeated Greece, Norway and Spain along the way. In the other semi-final Austria defeated Russia in a 2-1 series. Belgium’s luck however, would run out in the final as Austria booked its spot to the Olympics with a 2-1 victory. Russia won the bronze medal by defeating Spain 2-0.
There will be one more chance for teams to qualify to the Olympics, at the Final Olympic Continental Cup. The top two teams which failed to qualify; Belgium and Russia for the men and Ukraine and the Czech Republic for the women will battle it out for the final spots.
Quotas by Nations
- Austria – 1
- Netherlands – 1
- FIVB. CEV Men’s Beach Continental Cup Final. Access on June 26 2016.
- FIVB. CEV Women’s Beach Continental Cup Final. Access on June 26 2016.