Lausanne, Switzerland, September 2, 2018 - For the first time in 20 weeks, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will take a weekend off as the international circuit will be announcing this week the recipients of the awards for the 2017-2018 season that concluded two weeks ago in Germany.
The 14th edition of post-season awards will feature the announcements of the most valuable players for the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour where 42 men's and 43 women's tournaments were staged on five continents and in 29 countries.
The 2017 portion of the season started on September 7 in France and the 2018 calendar concluded on August 19 in Hamburg for the FIVB World Tour Finals where teams from Norway and Brazil finished atop the men's and women's podiums, respectively.
Highlighting the post-season awards will be the naming of the FIVB World Tour's most outstanding players for both men and women along with the circuit's rookies of the year, most improved and inspirational and top sportspersons as per the voting by players, coaches, referees and FIVB officials.
Other awards will be announced for the top men's and women's players for defense, offense, blocking, setting, hitting and serving. The list of top players for the 2017-2018 season includes Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa and Norwegians Anders Mol/Christian Sorum as the pairs captured the gold medals at the FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg.
Will Olympic and World Championship medal winner Agatha Bednarczuk of Brazil win an FIVB World Tour post-season award for the first time?
The 33rd season of the international beach volleyball competition sanctioned by the FIVB resumes on September 13 in China for the inaugural Zhongwei Open - the $25,000 event is a women's only tournament. The next double-gender event will also be in China as Qinzhou hosts a $200,000 tournament starting September 30.
The Chinese stops will be the second and third qualifying events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as France hosted the opening tournament in the qualification period where a pair of host country teams topped the podium in Montpellier.
In securing the 77th sweeping of the gold medals at the same event, France became the fifth country to win both titles at the same site on the same weekend in the history of the World Tour since the start of FIVB-sanctioned events in February 1987. Brazil (59 times), the United States (15), China (once) and Russia (once) had previously accomplished the feat.
In addition to the podium sweep, the winning French teams of Alexandra Jupiter/Lezana Placette and Olivier Barthelemy/Edouard Rowlandson also achieved a first by winning FIVB gold medals in their first-ever World Tour events together.
The Montpellier Open men's podium
The feat of winning an FIVB event in their first World tour tournament together had been achieved four times previously for both men and women. Six teams from the United States have won World Tour gold medals in their first FIVB event together along with pairs from the Czech Republic and Russia.
The FIVB gold medal for Jupiter and Placette marked the first-ever World Tour title for a French women's team. The previous best FIVB World Tour placement for a French women's team was a bronze medal for Aline Chamereau/Placette at the 2017 Agadir Open in Morocco.
The Montpellier Open women's podium
France - Montpellier, August 28-September 1, 2018, €5,000, FIVB Women's event No. 377
1. Alexandra Jupiter/Lezana Placette, France, €1,00
2, Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre, Switzerland, €700
3. Nicole Eiholzer/Elena Steinemann, Switzerland, €500
4. Laura Longuet/Ophelie Lusson, France, €400
Gold - Jupiter/Placette def. Bobner/Verge-Depre, 2-1 (21-15, 12-21, 15-12) (42 minutes)
Bronze - Eiholzer/Steinemann def. Longuet/Lusson, 2-1 (22-20, 14-21, 15-6) (46)
France - Montpellier, August 28-September 1, 2018, €5,000, FIVB Men's event No. 411
1. Olivier Barthelemy/Edouard Rowlandson, France, €1,000
2. Quincy Aye/Youssef Krou, France, €700
3. Romain Di Giantommaso/Jeremy Silvestre, France, €500
4. Florian Breer Yves/Haussener, Switzerland, €400
Gold - Barthelemy/Rowlandson def. Aye/Krou, 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) (36)
Bronze - Di Giantommaso/Silvestre def. Breer/Haussener, Switzerland, 2-1 (21-16, 25-27, 15-10) (54)