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
- FIVB. World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification 2016 – Men’s Results. Access on July 10 2016.
- FIVB. World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification 2016 – Women’s Results. Access on July 10 2016.