It is for the third-straight season that the FIVB World Tour returns to Manly Beach in Sydney. But it for the first time that Australia hosts a 3-star World Tour. From March 6-10 the $150,000 event will take place at beautiful Manly Beach. After the qualifiers on Wednesday, pool play will start on Thursday leading to the medal matches on Sunday.
Last season, Canadian and Australian teams won the 2-star event at Manly Beach. Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton claimed gold in the men’s competition while local heroes Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho won on the women’s side.
The 2019 World Championships will run from June 28 to July 7 at the Hamburg Rothenbaum Stadium with a total prize purse of $1.000.000. About 13.000 fans will follow the 48 teams per gender on centre court. New winner teams will be crowned as the defending champions teamed up with new partners. Current world champion Laura Ludwig (Germany) is playing with Maggie Kozuch after Kira Walkenhorst had to retire form professional beach volleyball in January. On the men’s side, defending champions Evandro and Andre Loyola (Brazil) have split up. While Evandro joined forces with Olympic champion Bruno Schmidt, Andre Loyola is now playing with George Wanderley after splitting from Alison.
The tournament schedule outlines pool play until July 3 in 12 pools of four teams with the top two teams from each pool going directly to the elimination round. They will be joined by the eight best third-ranked teams. These 32 teams will continue in single-elimination play with the medal matches being played on July 6 and 7. Top favorites are Norwegian Vikings Anders Mol and Christian Sorum who have already posted three 4-star wins this season at Itapema (Brazil), Jianjiang (China) and Ostrava (Czech Republic). They will play in Pool A.
The Jurmala Open are a men’s-only event at Jurmala Beach near Riga (Latvia). The event will take place from August 22-25, 2019. Prize money is US$ 75,000 and the event will count for the Olympic qualification process towards Tokyo 2020. Qualification kicks off on Thursday, the main draw starts on Friday and the semifinals and medal matches will be played on Sunday.
The lovely beach resort of Jurmala hosted the CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships in 2017. In the event’s final Italian Olympic silver medalists Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo defeated local heroes Janis Smedins and “Lion King” Alex Samoilovs. The two Latvians are back strong after winning the 4-star Moscow Open last weekend. Their back-to-back Moscow title also puts them in a favorite postition for the Jurmala 3-star event. Besides a range of Latvian home teams, several US teams will be competing. AVP Manhattan Beach finalists Patterson/Budinger, Slick/Allen and Evans/Kolinske will go for points in the Olympic race to Tokyo 2020.
The 2019 World Tour Finals in Rome will gather the planet’s best beach volleyball teams on the men’s and women’s side. The US$ 600,000 event will take place at the Foro Italico sports complex from September 4-8, 2019. It is the same site where all previous five FIVB World Tour events in Rome took place.
In contrast to the previous editions of the World Tour Finals, the Rome event will be played in a regular 5-star event format with 32 teams featured in the main draw. The event will also be part of the Olympic qualification process towards Tokyo 2020 with the winner earning 600 points. Prior to Wednesday’s qualifiers, country quota matches will take place on Tuesday afternoon for Austrian, Brazilian, Italian and US teams. Main draw starts on September 5, quarterfinals and semifinals will be played on September 7 and the finals on September 8.
In the men’s competition, all top teams from Europe, the US and Brazil will be participating. Norwegian Vikings Anders Mol and Christian Sorum are the defending champions and probably the top favorites while Russian world champions Krasilnikov/ Stoyanovskiy have been struggling recently. 2017 champions Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena (USA) are seeded 7th, last weekend’s AVP Chicago winners Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb are seeded 17th. Jake Gibb after the Chicago final:
“We are looking forward to Rome now. The Rome event site feels like a gladiator pit.”
On the women’s side, top-seeds are Canadian world champions Humana-Paredes/ Pavan and America’s A-Team Alix Klineman/ April Ross who already battled it out in the Hamburg world champs and the AVP Manhattan Beach finals. After losing the aformentioned matches to Canada, the A-Team took revenge last weekend and defeated the world champions in the AVP Chicago Gold Series Championships. Following the two top teams are Aussies Artacho/Clancy and the strong Brazilian teams. In Tuesday’s US country quota playoff Flint/ Day will face Sweat/Walsh Jennings.
Find the full entry list on the FIVB event page.
Qinzhou hosts a World Tour event for the third-straight season after 2017 and 2018. It is the the first women’s event on this season’s FIVB calendar and the second for the men. Last year, it was US team Tri Bourne/ Trevor Crabb and Brazil’s Rebecca Cavalcanti/ Ana Patricia Silva who claimed the gold medals. For Tri Bourne the Qinzhou win marked the beginning of his comeback after being sidelined due to an auto-immune disease. With his partner Trevor Crabb he continued his great return when reaching the semifinals at this year’s World Championships in Hamburg.
While the defending champions are not competing in the 2019 edition, the women’s competition will feature numerous American top teams. Except for A-Team Alix Klineman/ April Ross, the strongest US women’s team will compete. Besides three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh and her partner Brooke Sweat, Stockman/ Larsen, Claes/ Sponcil and Hughes/Summer Ross have registered for the event.
After the qualification on October 30, the US$150,000 Qinzhou Open main draw starts on October 31. Quarterfinals will be played on November 2 and the medal matches on November 3. Top-seeds are Switzerland’s Mirco Gerson and Adrian Heidrich on the men’s and Australia’s Taliqua Clancy/ Mariafe Artacho Del Solar on the women’s side. Check out further details on the official FIVB event page.