Beach Volleyball: Final Nations Qualify After World Continental Cup Olympic Qualifier

The final teams which will compete at the Olympics were decided at the Beach Volleyball World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament. 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 set (up to 15) using any team is played. In total nine teams competed in each gender and were split into two groups. The winners qualified directly to the semi-final while second and third place played a cross-over quarter-final. The winners of the semi-final qualified to the Olympics, no final was played. The World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament was held in Sochi, Russia from July 6th to July 10th 2016.

In the women’s tournament Group A contained five teams. China and Russia were the only undefeated teams after three rounds of matches, with two victories each. The two faced off each other in the fourth round where China won both matches 2-1. China’s win in the group wasn’t completely assured as the Czech Republic forced a golden set, but China won it and the group 15-9. Russia and the Czech Republic advanced to the quarter-final as the second and third best teams respectively.

Group B only contained four teams. Both Austria and Vanuatu secured victories over Colombia and Ukraine to set up a final match to determine the winner of the group. In that series both Austria and Vanuatu split the two matches, but it was Austria whom won the golden set 15-12 to finish first in the group. Ukraine defeated Colombia to advance as the third place team.

The quarter-final saw the Czech Republic and Vanuatu split the two matches, forcing a golden set. In the end the Czech Republic won the set 15-7. Russia won the other quarter-final match over the Ukraine in a two match victory. In the semi-final both matches went to the golden set. The Czech Republic and Russia won and qualified to the Olympics with 15-12 and 15-3 victories over China and Austria respectively.

In the men’s tournament Group A contained five teams. Going into the final set of matches both Canada and Russia were undefeated. The series between the two nations saw them split their matches thus forcing a golden set. Canada would go on to win the set and group 15-6. For third place and a spot in the quarter-final Venezuela defeated Ukraine in a golden set 15-13.

Group B originally contained five teams, but Sierra Leone dropped out after the draw was made. Overall Belgium topped the group with three victories. China and Mexico qualified to the quarter-final after finishing second and third respectively in the group.

It was the two Group A teams which won their quarter-final series to advance to the semi-final. Russia defeated Mexico and Venezuela defeated China in a two match victory. The first semi-final saw Canada and Venezuela split the first two matches, forcing a golden set. Canada would go on to qualify to the Olympics with a 15-11 win. In the other semi-final Russia defeated Belgium in straight matches to qualify to the Olympics.

This was the final opportunity for nations to qualify in beach volleyball. All that is left to determine is which athletes will represent their nation at the Olympics.

 

Quotas by Nations

  • Russia – 2
  • Canada – 1
  • Czech Republic – 1

 

References

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Beach Volleyball: Costa Rica and Cuba Win NORCECA Continental Cup Final

Costa Rica and Cuba won gold at the NORCECA 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. Each team faces off against the other nation’s teams once with a fifth match consisting of one set played if the series is tied. In total 12 nations faced off against each other in a single elimination tournament. The winner of the NORCECA Continental Cup qualifies to the Olympics. The final of the Beach Volleyball NORCECA Continental Cup was held in Guaymas, Mexico from June 22nd to June 26th 2016.

The first round of the men’s tournament had US Virgin Islands, Saint Lucia, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago defeating El Salvador, Guatemala, Suriname and Nicaragua respectively. The four first round winners however, were no match for the top four seeds of the tournament as all four lost 3-0 to Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico respectively. The semi-final saw Canada and Cuba pick up 3-0 victories over Puerto Rico and Mexico respectively to book their spot to the final. Despite winning the first match Canada would go on to lose the next three giving Cuba the 3-1 victory and a spot at the Olympics. The bronze medal went to Puerto Rico after defeating Mexico 3-2.

The first round of the women’s tournament had Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the Cayman Islands defeating Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Saint Lucia and El Salvador respectively. The top four seeds; Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica and Guatemala all had straight series victories over Barbados, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Nicaragua respectively. The semi-final contained an upset as Costa Rica defeated Cuba going all the way to the fifth match golden set. Mexico also qualified to the final with 3-0 victory over Guatemala. Costa Rica would go on to win the tournament and qualify to the Olympics with a 3-1 victory over Mexico. Cuba finished with the bronze medal after defeating Guatemala 3-0.

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; Canada and Puerto Rico for the men and Mexico and Cuba for the women will battle it out for the final spots.

 

Quotas by Nations

  • Costa Rica – 1
  • Cuba – 1

 

References

Beach Volleyball: Chile and Venezuela Win CSV Continental Cup Final

Chile and Venezuela won gold at the CSV 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 total 6 nations faced off against each other through a five match series in a round robin format. The winner of the South American Continental Cup qualifies to the Olympics. The men’s final of the Beach Volleyball South American Continental Cup was held in Santiago, Chile while the women’s final was held in Rosario, Argentina from June 22nd to June 26th 2016.

The women’s tournament saw Argentina, Paraguay and Venezuela win their first two matches against a combination of Chile, Colombia and Uruguay. In a battle between undefeated teams Venezuela defeated Paraguay 3-1 in the third set of matches while Uruguay won its first match over Chile. Argentina suffered a setback as one of their team members suffered an injury and had to withdraw, helping Colombia to secure their first victory. Argentina was unable to recover from the injury and was essentially forced to forfeit to Venezuela on the fourth day of matches. Venezuela’s win along with Uruguay’s and Colombia’s victories over Paraguay and Chile respectively meant Venezuela qualified to the Olympics. Fifth day saw Colombia, Venezuela and Paraguay score victories over Uruguay, Chile and Argentina respectively.

The men’s tournament began similarly as the women’s with Argentina, Chile and Venezuela winning their first two matches against a combination of Colombia, French Guiana and Uruguay. As a reminder French Guiana cannot qualify to the Olympics as they do not have their own NOC. On the third set of matches Venezuela gave Argentina its first loss by winning 3-1. Chile also remained undefeated with a 3-1 victory over Colombia. Both Chile and Venezuela remained undefeated after the fourth set of matches with wins over Argentina and French Guiana respectively. On the fifth and final day Chile was able to qualify to the Olympics after a hard fought 3-2 victory over Venezuela.

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; Venezuela and Uruguay for the men and Paraguay and Colombia for the women will battle it out for the final spots.

 

Quotas by Nations

  • Chile – 1
  • Venezuela – 1

 

References

Beach Volleyball: Austria and Netherlands Win CEV Continental Cup Final

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

 

References

Beach Volleyball: Australia and Qatar Win AVC Continental Cup Final

Australia and Qatar booked their tickets to the Olympics after victories at the AVC 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 8 nations faced off against each other in a single elimination tournament. The winner of the Asian/Oceania Continental Cup qualifies to the Olympics. The final of the Beach Volleyball Asian/Oceania Continental Cup was held in Cairns, Australia from June 24th to June 26th 2016.

In the women’s quarter-final, China, Vanuatu and Australia all won their matches 2-0 against Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei respectively. It was the match between Japan and Thailand which required three matches where Japan’s top team prevailed over Thailand’s top team in a 2-0 match. Both semi-final matches required a third match as Australia and Vanuatu booked their spot to the final with a 2-1 victory over Japan and China respectively. Australia would go on the claim the sole Olympic berth with a 2-0 victory over Vanuatu. China won the bronze medal after defeating Japan 2-0.

The men’s quarter-final matches had Qatar, Kazakhstan and Australia sweep the series to win over Iran, Japan and Indonesia respectively. China and New Zealand required a third match where China won 2-1. The semi-final saw a bit of an upset as top ranked Australia was defeated 2-0 by China. Qatar also reached the final with a 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan. The final saw Qatar secure the Olympic quota with a 2-0 victory over China. This will be Qatar’s debut in beach volleyball at the Olympics. Kazakhstan won the bronze medal after defeating Australia 2-1.

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; China and Kazakhstan for the men and Vanuatu and China for the women will battle it out for the final spots.

 

Quotas by Nations

  • Australia – 1
  • Qatar – 1

 

References

Beach Volleyball: Olympic Rankings Published

In total 15 nations qualified to the Olympics after the publication of the Beach Volleyball Olympic Rankings. The top 15 ranked eligible teams from the Olympic rankings qualified their nation a spot to the Olympics. Brazil has already qualified the maximum quotas through the host quota and winning the 2015 World Championship. Other nations can qualify a maximum of two teams per gender. Teams can earn points through their performances at eligible tournaments. The Beach Volleyball Olympic Rankings contained points earned from various events held from January 1st 2015 to June 12th 2016.

The men’s rankings were topped by Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt. The 15 qualified teams were (in alphabetical order); Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy (2), Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands (2), Poland (2), Russia, Spain and the United States (2).

The women’s rankings were also topped by Brazil’s Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes. The 15 qualified teams were (in alphabetical order); Argentina, Australia, Canada (2), China, Germany (2), Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland (2) and the United States (2).

There are still two more opportunities for nations to qualify quotas. The first opportunity is the continental cup while the second will be the final qualification tournament.

 

Teams by Nations

  • United States – 4
  • Canada – 3
  • Germany – 3
  • Italy – 3
  • Netherlands – 3
  • Poland – 3
  • Spain – 2
  • Switzerland – 2
  • Argentina – 1
  • Australia – 1
  • Austria – 1
  • China – 1
  • Latvia – 1
  • Mexico – 1
  • Russia – 1

 

References

Beach Volleyball: Tunisia Wins Men’s African Continental Cup

Tunisia claimed the gold medal at the African Men’s Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Final. The continental features nations with two teams each facing off against each other. In total 11 teams were split into two groups where a round robin was played. The top two nations advanced to the semi-final with the winner qualifying to the Olympics. The African Men’s Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Final was held in Kelibia, Tunisia from May 3rd to May 9th 2016.

Details about the African continental cup are scarce, but Group A was topped by Tunisia whom finished with a perfect record, finishing second was Sierra Leone whom also advanced to the semi-final. Similarly Morocco topped Group B with a perfect record with Angola also advancing to the semi-final after finishing second in the group.

Both Tunisia and Morocco won their respective semi-final matches to advance to the finals. The final saw Tunisia 1 and Morocco 1 defeating their opponent’s second team setting a final match with the Olympics on the line. Tunisia 1 won the first set 26-24 while Morocco won the second set 23-21. The third a final set was yet another close affair with Tunisia winning 18-16 to qualify to the Olympics. Angola won the bronze medal with a 2-0 series win over Sierra Leone.

All is not over for Morocco and Angola as they will get a second opportunity to qualify to the Olympics through the World Continental Cup to be held in July.

 

Tournament Rankings

  1. Tunisia
  2. Morocco
  3. Angola
  4. Sierra Leone
  5. Rwanda
  6. Ghana
  7. Mozambique
  8. Gambia
  9. Burundi
  10. Egypt
  11. Cote d’Ivoire

 

References