Aspire Zone to Host World’s Beach Volleyball Champions
Doha, January 24 (QNA) – The curtain will come down on a brilliant first season of the Beach Pro Tour when 20 of the world’s best beach volleyball teams battle to become the 2022 season champions in Doha between 26-29 January. The tour will be held at the Aspire Park sports complex.
The event is organized under the supervision of International Volleyball Federation and in cooperation with Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) and Aspire Zone which will host the tournament for three years, starting from Jan. 2023.
Aspire Zone is hosting this tour within the framework of the great cooperation between it and the QVA in organizing a number of international tournaments. Once the champions of the 2022 season have been crowned, attention will turn to the beginning of the Beach Pro Tour 2023 campaign, which kicks-off just days after the Finals in Doha with a mouthwatering Elite16 event featuring the world’s best partnerships.
The 10 teams per gender go into the end-of-season showpiece after a memorable first season of the Beach Pro Tour that began in March 2022 and wowed crowds at 47 events across the globe before coming to its conclusion in December.
Eight of the teams booked their place at the Aspire Park sports complex thanks to their fine performances on the Beach Pro Tour in 2022, as per world ranking points as of 5 December, with the field completed by two wildcards.
The winners of the Finals will each be crowned 2022 Beach Pro Tour champions and receive an equal prize money of 150,000 US Dollars of the overall 800,000-US Dollar prize purse.
In the men’s competition, top seeds are home favourites Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Younousse, and in what promises to be mouthwatering entertainment for beach volleyball fans, the team from Qatar face stiff competition from the likes of reigning Olympic and World champions from Norway Anders Mol and Christian Sorum – plus a host of teams that have won Beach Pro Tour events in 2022.
Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt, winners of the Gstaad Elite16 title in July, and freshly reunited Italian duo Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri, were awarded wildcard entries.
Competing men’s teams: Cherif/Ahmed (Qatar), A. Mol/C. Sorum (Norway), Brouwer/Meeuwsen (Netherlands), George/Andre (Brazil), Bryl/Losiak (Poland), Nicolai/Cottafava (Italy), Perusic/Schweiner (Czech Republic), E. Grimalt/M. Grimalt (Chile), Renato/Vitor Felipe (Brazil), Carambula/Ranghieri (Italy).
The women’s event is headed by Brazilian World champions Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos, who won five Elite16 medals in 2022, including gold in Gstaad and Uberlandia.
The duo will have competition from compatriots Barbara Seixas and Carolina Solberg, arguably one of the most consistent teams on the tour in 2022, as well as another team who scooped two Elite16 titles during the season, Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon from the Netherlands.
Both of the women’s wildcards were awarded to newly-formed pairings. 2019 World champion Sarah Pavan and 2021 world championship runner-up Sophie Bukovec of Canada will make their Beach Pro Tour debut in Doha while the second wildcards are Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes of the United States, who reunited late in the season and won back-to-back events in Torquay.
Competing women’s teams: Duda/Ana Patricia (Brazil), Barbara/Carol (Brazil), Stam/Schoon (Netherlands), Clancy/Mariafe (Australia), Anastasija/Tina (Latvia), Huberli/Brunner (Switzerland), Tillmann/Muller (Germany), Nuss/Kloth (USA), Hughes/Cheng (USA), Pavan/Bukovec (Canada). (QNA)