The last day of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Doha will start with three Olympic silver medallists on the court on Sunday with Brazilians Barbara Seixas and Carol Salgado and Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho set for an exciting semifinal duel at the Al Gharafa Beach Courts.
Carol and Barbara set to face Australians in Doha semis
Olympic medallists Clancy and Artacho are the last team standing between the Brazilians and the gold medal match in Qatar
Published 04:23, 07 May 2022
Barbara, a Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist, and her partner Carol will meet Clancy and Artacho, who were second at last year’s Tokyo Games, at 09.00 local time / 06.00 GMT in the first semifinal of the women’s tournament. The second duel, set to start one hour later, will reunite reigning European champions Nina Brunner and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland and Germans Chantal Laboureur and Sarah Schulz.
The most experienced duo to make it to the semis in Qatar, the 34-year-old Barbara and Carol will be fighting for their second Beach Pro Tour medal as the Brazilians were the winners of the first-ever event of the Tour, the Tlaxcala Challenge, in Mexico, back in March.
Barbara and Carol have been in stellar form since the start of the Doha Challenge, and have won all of their first four matches in straight sets. On Saturday, they kept the good rhythm by eliminating Lithuanians Erika Kliokmanaite and Monika Paulikiene with a 21-15, 21-15 victory in the Round of 16 and knocked Canadian twins Megan and Nicole McNamara out in the quarterfinals with a 21-17, 21-16 win.
Barbara Carol vs. Megan Nicole - Match Highlights
Their next opponents, Clancy and Artacho also remain undefeated in Qatar after the conclusion of the second day of the main draw. After a solid display on Friday, when they won their pool with back-to-back wins, the Olympic medallists returned to the court for two more victories on Saturday.
In the Round of 16, the Australians were pushed to three sets (21-18, 20-22, 16-14), but came out on top against Finland’s Taru Lahti and Niina Ahtiainen. In the quarterfinals, they eliminated fellow Tokyo Olympic medallists Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland in straight sets (21-14, 21-19).
With that, Huberli and Brunner will be the only Swiss team in the semifinals in Doha. The reigning European champions scored the biggest win of the women’s tournament so far when they sent world ranking leaders Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands home in the quarterfinals with a 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 15-13) victory. Earlier, in the Round of 16, the Swiss cruised past Americans Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn to a straight-set (21-14, 21-16) win.
Hüberli Brunner vs. Stam Schoon - Match Highlights
Of the four semifinalists, Laboureur and Schulz had arguably the most familiar path to the medal round as they faced two other German teams on their way. In the Round of 16, the two topped Sandra Ittlinger and Isabel Schneider in two sets (22-20, 21-13). In the quarterfinals, the Germans prevailed in another two-setter (21-17, 21-19) against compatriots Cinja Tillmann and Svenja Muller.
Besides the semifinals, the fourth and last day of the Doha Challenge will also feature the bronze and gold medal matches for the women, which are scheduled to start at 17.00 local time / 14.00 GMT and 18.00 local time / 15.00 GMT, respectively.
The event in Doha is the third Challenge tournament of the Beach Pro Tour inaugural season. The Challenge events represent one of the three levels of the Beach Pro Tour. They are ranked between the Elite16, which feature the highest level of the sport, and the Futures, which offer young, up-and-coming players access to international beach volleyball, and feed into the elite of the sport.