Vaduz, Liechtenstein, August 7, 2018 – After hosting 13 FIVB and CEV Satellites from 2005 to 2017, Vaduz will welcome its first ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event from August 8 to 12. The one-star double-gender tournament makes Liechtenstein the second smallest country, after Monaco, to welcome the World Tour to its territory.
A total of 65 teams (37 women’s and 28 men’s pairs) from 27 different countries, with all five continental confederations represented, have signed up to play for their share of the $10,000 prize money. In each gender, a 16-team main draw will feature a modified pool play system with the top three teams in each four-team pool progressing into the single elimination stage. With 12 duos seeded directly into the main draw, the remaining four spots will be contested in qualifications to be played on August 8 for the women and on August 9 for the men.
Erika Sofia Mongelos Bobadilla and Gabriela Filippo lead the women’s preliminary seeding on entry points. The two Paraguayan athletes played together on the Tour in 2015 and 2017 reaching their best result - fourth place - at Agadir last year. This will be their first appearance as a team in 2018, after 21-year-old Erika earned her first World Tour medal – bronze - at the Manila one-star in May.
Sofia Starikov and Anita Deev come second on the list. Vaduz will be the second joint venture for this Israeli duo, after they finished ninth at Ljubljana last week. For both players a fourth place finish is their best result on the World Tour so far.
The top three of the preliminary line-up is completed by Katja Stam and Julia Wouters. 22-year-old Wouters is reuniting with 19-year-old Stam after they last appeared together at the Singapore two-star in June. Earlier this year, the Dutch pair earned silver at the Langkawi one-star, their only podium finish on the Tour so far.
Two teams from Liechtenstein, two from Austria and one each from the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland make up the remaining duos seeded directly into the women’s main draw and awaiting four more additions emerging from Wednesday’s qualifications.
The men’s pair with the most entry points is from Brazil. Arthur Diego Mariano Lanci is a 2016 U21 world champion and a 2014 U19 world champion, while Marcio Guadie Ley is a silver medallist from the 2013 U23 World Championship. The young Brazilian athletes have been playing together since June, finishing fifth at three of the four World Tour events they attended.
Quentin Metral and Simon Hagenbuch come second in the men’s preliminary ranking. The Swiss pair have been regulars on the World Tour since October 2017, reaching fifth place twice – at the one-star stops in Manila and Manavgat.
Third in line are Sergiy Popov and Vladyslav Iemelianchyk. At the Porec one-star in July, the Ukrainians won gold, the only World Tour podium finish for either player. Like Brazil’s Arthur, Popov also has two Age Category World Championships titles to his name – U19 in 2009 and U21 in 2011.
The remaining nine pairs with spots in the men’s main draw come from Latvia (two), Austria, Czechia, Liechtenstein, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine. Thursday’s qualifications will determine which four teams join the main draw participants.