Lausanne, Switzerland, August 8, 2018 - Guaranteed new World Tour Finals champions will be crowned next week when the beach volleyball elite aim to catch the last and biggest prize of the season at the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone in Hamburg.
The sand has only just settled on the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch but there’s no rest for former World, European and Major Series champions who make-up the 20-strong field in Germany’s famous harbour city.
It will be the second season running that Hamburg hosts the thrilling end-of-season finale where teams from across the world will battle for a share of the huge $800,000 prize purse – the biggest of the season.
Among those competing for one of the biggest titles in beach volleyball are the recently installed number one teams in the world.
Top of the table Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sorum will aim to continue their incredible 19-match unbeaten run and make it four consecutive tournament golds after winning at the Gstaad Major, Vienna Major and European Championships.
Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway at the Vienna Major on August 5
The invincible Vikings face competition from a whole host of major threats, including both 2016 Olympic silver and bronze medallists, Italians Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai, who won bronze at the Finals 12 months ago, and Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands.
The biggest shock to the men’s entry list is the fact there is not one Brazilian team among those going into battle on the sand. And neither will last season’s winners, Phil ‘the Thin Beast’ Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, who missed out in the qualification process.
For the home fans who will flock in their numbers to the Red Bull Beach Arena, there are two rising stars of the sport to support on the sand. Qualified as the highest ranked home nation, Clemens Wickler and Julius Thole have beaten some of the best teams in the business this season, and they will hope to continue their impressive form when they make their World Tour Finals debut.
Leading the chase for the women’s title are Vienna Major champions Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova. The Czech stars’ victory on the Danube Island lifted them to the summit of the world rankings.
Barbora Hermannova in action at the net in the women’s final at the Vienna Major
With no Laura Ludwig or Kira Walkenhorst playing this season, German fans have two top teams to cheer on inside the Rothenbaum. Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude and Victoria Bieneck and Isabelle Schneider will be aiming to keep the gold medal in Hamburg for another year.
Last season, Brazil had two teams on the podium, and the South American powerhouse will be represented by last year’s Hamburg silver medallists Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa and Maria Antonelli and Carol Solberg.
Who will succeed 2017 women’s gold medallists Kira Walkenhorst/Laura Ludwig (Germany), silver medallists Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and bronze medallists Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes (both Brazil)?
The format for the tournament will change from the two previous World Tour Finals back to the system implemented at the inaugural edition in 2015. The 10 teams per gender will be split into two groups of five, with the group winners advancing straight to the semifinals. The second and third placed teams will move forward to the quarterfinals with the fourth and fifth ranked teams eliminated.
Who will come out on top and be crowned the best of the beach? Find out from August 15 to 19.Women’s qualifiers:
Barbora Hermannova/Markita Slukova (Czech Republic), Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa (Brazil), Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado (Brazil), Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson (Canada), Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan (Canada), Mariafe Artacho del Solar/Taliqua Clancy (Australia), Julia Sude/Chantal Laboureur (Germany), Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider (Germany), Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink (Netherlands), Summer Ross/Sara Hughes (USA).Men’s qualifiers:
Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (Norway), Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Netherlands), Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak (Poland), Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins (Latvia), Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera (Spain), Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs (Latvia), Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek (Poland), Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai (Italy), Oleg Stoyanoviskiy/Igor Velichko (Russia), Clemens Wickler/Julius Thole (Germany).