Tokyo knock-out round pairings set – Gibb/Crabb facing Germany’s Thole/ Wickler
It was a rough first week at the Olympic beach volleyball event but now the round of 16 parings are complete. After America’s top team Jake Gibb/ Taylor Crabb had to replace Crabb by Tri Bourne, Czech team Marketa Slukova/ Barbora Hermannova could not start at all and their Czech compatriots Perusic/ Schweiner could not compete in their first match, hopes are high that the overly strict Covid regulations do not further impact the competition at Shiokaze Park in Tokyo.
On the women’s side, one of the most exciting matchups brings together US team Claes/Sponcil who is going up against Canada’s beach volleyball gypsy Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley in the round of 16 on Sunday. The same day will also see Latvian youngsters Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka facing Russia’s Makroguzova/ Kholomina. Reigning Olympic champion Laura Ludwig and her new partner Maggie Kozuch of Germany will need to have a good day when competing with Brazil’s top team Agatha/ Duda. Top favorites Sarah Pavan/ Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada and (US)A-Team Alix Klineman/ April Ross will play the lucky losers from the preliminary round Liliana/ Elsa (Spain) and Lidy/ Leila of Cuba.
In the men’s competition, the American teams will face strong opposition. While US legends Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will play against the tournament’s favorites Cherif/ Ahmed of Qatar, newly formed team of Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne will need to go up against 2019 World Championships silver medalists Thole/ Wickler of Germany. Norway’s Beachvolley Vikings will play 2013 world champions Brouwer/ Meeuwsen of the Netherlands and Brazil’s reigning Olympic champion Bruno Schmidt and Evandro will face Latvia’s Plavins/Tocs.
All round of 16 matches will take place this Sunday and Monday. You can find the full schedule at the FIVB event page.