The first stop on the 2023 Beach Pro Tour takes place in Doha, Qatar from February 1 to 5. Twelve teams per gender have qualified for the main draw of the event based on their entry points, and will be joined by a further four teams from the qualifications.

The 12 teams already qualified for the main draw are:

Men

Anders Mol/Christian Sorum – Norway

Cape Town

The entry list for the Elite16 in Doha is headlined by Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, who are the reigning world and Olympic champions and the number one team in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Ranking. In addition to winning the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rome in June 2022, the Norwegians topped the podium at three Elite16 events last year – in Ostrava, Paris and Cape Town. At another two Elite16 tournaments, in Rosarito and Uberlandia, they took bronze, an achievement they repeated at the 2022 CEV European Championship in Munich. At the end of the 2021 season, Mol and Sorum also won the last edition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Cagliari.

Career highlights:

  • Reigning Olympic champions (Tokyo 2020)
  • 1x Olympians
  • Reigning world champions (Rome 2022)
  • World Championship bronze medallists (2019)
  • 4x European champions (Gold in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Bronze medallists at Rosarito (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Gold medallists at Ostrava (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite 16), Gold medallists in Paris (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Gold medallists in Cape Town (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Bronze medallists in Uberlandia (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists

Vitor Felipe/Renato Lima – Brazil

Renato and Vitor

One of two Brazilian teams in the Doha Elite16 Main Draw, Renato Lima and Vitor Felipe won a single medal from a major world-level tournament in 2022, but it was at the most prestigious competition, the World Championship in Rome, where they finished second.

Career highlights:

  • World Championship silver medallists (Rome 2022)
  • Beach Pro Tour participants
  • World Tour medallists

Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen – Netherlands

meeuwsen

Experienced Dutchmen Alexander Brouwer (33) and Robert Meeuwsen (34) were Olympic bronze medallists at Rio 2016. In their 2022 Beach Pro Tour campaign, Brouwer and Meeuwsen collected four Elite16 medals – silvers in Rosarito, Hamburg and Paris and bronze in Ostrava. In 2022, the Dutch team were number one in the world for a week in May.

Career highlights:

  • World champions (2013)
  • Olympic medallists (Bronze in 2016)
  • 2x Olympians (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020)
  • European Championship bronze medallists (2017)
  • Silver medallists at Rosarito (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Bronze medallists at Ostrava (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Silver medallists in Hamburg (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists

George Wanderley/Andre Loyola Stein – Brazil

George

Brazil’s Andre Loyola Stein and George Wanderley were on top of the World Ranking from late May until early October last year. They won two Beach Pro Tour gold medals in 2022, both of them at home, in Brazil. In addition to topping the podium at the Itapema Challenge and the Uberlandia Elite16, Andre and George took a place on the podium at the Jurmala Elite16 with bronze. They also took bronze at the World Championships in Rome.

Career highlights:

  • Gold medallists at Itapema (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Bronze medallists in Jurmala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), World Championship bronze medallists (Rome 2022), Gold medallists in Uberlandia (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists
  • Andre : World champion (2017)

Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt – Chile

Grimalt

33-year-old Marco Grimalt and 32-year-old Esteban Grimalt will also compete at the Elite16 in Doha. In 2022, the Chilean cousins and two-time Olympians won an Elite16 gold in Gstaad. They are a very experienced side, but will make their first appearance at the Finals of the global circuit in Doha in January.

Career highlights:

  • 2x Olympians (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020)
  • Gold medallists in Gstaad (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists

Bartosz Losiak/Michal Bryl – Poland

Bryl

In their first season together, Polish Olympians Michal Bryl and Bartosz Losiak topped a Beach Pro Tour podium as many as four times. In fact, every time they medalled it was to take gold. They won the inaugural event in Mexico, March’s Challenge tournament in Tlaxcala, and followed up with gold medals at the Doha Challenge, the Espinho Challenge and the Hamburg Elite16.

Career highlights:

  • Gold medallists in Tlaxcala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Gold medallists in Doha (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Gold medallists in Espinho (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Gold medallists in Hamburg (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • Bryl : 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020), World Tour medallist
  • Losiak: 2x Olympian (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), World Tour medallist

David Ahman/Jonatan Hellvig – Sweden

ahman

The Swedish jump-setters, reigning Youth Olympic champions since 2018, who both turned 21 towards the end of 2022, had a remarkable 12 months last year. They claimed their first Beach Pro Tour medal in May by topping the podium at the Kusadasi Challenge. In August, they won their first senior European title. Then Ahman and Hellvig had a fabulous finish of their Beach Pro Tour season earning medals at the last three events they appeared at – bronze at the Maldives Challenge, gold at the Dubai 2 Challenge, and silver at the Cape Town Elite16.

Career highlights:

  • Youth Olympic Games gold medallists (2018)
  • U21 world champions (2021)
  • European champions 2022
  • Gold medallists in Kusadasi (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Bronze medallists in Maldives (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Gold medallists at Dubai2 (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Silver medallists in Cape Town (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists

Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner – Czech Republic

perusic

For Czech Olympians Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner, 2022 was coloured in silver. They reached a final four times during the year, but they always had to settle for second place. Their Beach Pro Tour record includes silver medals from the Itapema Challenge, the Ostrava Elite16 and the Gstaad Elite16. The Czechs also finished second at EuroBeachVolley in Munich.

Career highlights:

  • 1x Olympians (Tokyo 2020)
  • Silver medallists at Itapema (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Silver medallists at Ostrava (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Silver medallists at Gstaad (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists

Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan – Qatar

Cherif

The home crowd in Qatar will serve as an additional inspiration for the pairing of Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medallists started the 2022 season as World Ranking leaders. They won the first Elite16 event on the Beach Pro Tour, in Rosarito in March. Then the Qataris added three more medals to their 2022 collection - a gold at the Maldives Challenge, a silver at the Jurmala Elite16 and a bronze at the Cape Town Elite16. They also won a continental title at the 2022 AVC Asian Championship in Bandar Abbas.

Career highlights

  • Bronze medallists at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
  • Gold medallists at Rosarito (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Silver medallists in Jurmala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Gold medallists in Maldives (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Bronze medallists in Cape Town (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists
  • Cherif: 2x Olympian (Rio 2016 & Tokyo 2020)
  • Ahmed: 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020)

Paolo Nicolai/Samuele Cottafava – Italy

Nicolai

34-year-old Paolo Nicolai, a three-time Olympian and a Rio 2016 silver medallist, has been playing with Samuele Cottafava, who is 10 years younger, since the start of the 2022 season. The new Italian duo collected a full set of medals on the Beach Pro Tour - a Jurmala Elite16 gold, a Doha Challenge silver and a Paris Elite16 bronze.

Career highlights:

  • Silver medallists in Doha (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Gold medallists in Jurmala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Bronze medallists in Paris (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • Nicolai: Silver medallist at Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 3x Olympian (2012, 2016, Tokyo 2020), 3x European champion (2014, 2016, 2017), 1x European Championship bronze medallist (2020), World Tour medallist
  • Cottafava: World Tour medallist

Nils Ehlers/Clemens Wickler – Germany

Ehlers and Wickler

After their partners retired from competitive beach volleyball, Nils Ehlers and Tokyo Olympian Clemens Wickler teamed up for the start of the 2022 season to become Germany’s new leading men’s pair. They appeared at six events on the inaugural Beach Pro Tour and earned two bronze medals – at the Kusadasi Challenge in Türkiye and at the Hamburg Elite16 at home in Germany.

Career highlights:

  • Bronze medallists in Kusadasi (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Bronze medallists in Hamburg (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • Wickler: World Tour Finals silver medallist in 2019, World Championships silver medallist in 2019 (both with former partner Julius Thole), 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020), World Tour medallist
  • Ehlers: World Tour medallist

Adballah Ibrahim Nassim/Assam Ahmed Mahmoud - Qatar

abdallah

Assam Ahmed Mahmoud is an experienced 35-year-old player who first appeared on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour back in 2014 and his best finish was a fifth place at the Doha 1-star in 2021. At the Doha 4-star just days later, he competed alongside Adballah Ibrahim Nassim, who is now 22 years old. For the Qatari wild card pair, the upcoming Doha Elite16 will be the second event on the global circuit together. Both of them registered two participations on the 2022 Beach Pro Tour (Doha Challenge and Sohar Futures), but with different partners.

Career highlights:

  • Reunited as a team in 2023
  • Mahmoud: Beach Pro Tour eighthfinalist, World Tour quarterfinalist

Women

Ana Patricia Silva Ramos/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa – Brazil

Ana Patricia

The Brazilians are the top-ranked team and the FIVB World Rankings leaders after their highly successful first season as partners. Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa, 24, and Ana Patricia Ramos, 25, won the biggest tournament of 2022, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, and also triumphed at Beach Pro Tour Elite16 tournaments in Gstaad and Uberlandia. They’ve stepped on the podium at each of their last six international events and also earned bronze medals in Jurmala, Paris and Cape Town.

Career highlights:

  • Reigning world champions (Rome 2022)
  • Bronze medallists in Jurmala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Gold medallists at Gstaad (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Bronze medallists in Paris (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Bronze medallists in Cape Town (Beach Pro Tour – Elite16), Gold medallists in Uberlandia (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • Duda: 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020), Youth Olympics gold medallist with Ana Patricia (2014), World Tour medallist
  • Ana Patricia: 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020), Youth Olympics gold medallist with Duda (2014), World Tour medallist

Sara Hughes/Kelly Cheng – USA

Sara Hughes

Americans Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes, who are both 27, got back together towards the end of the 2022 season and made a great impression by winning both the Elite16 and the Challenge events held in Torquay, without dropping a single set. That helped the two players, who started their international careers together in 2015, earn one of the wild cards for the Finals in Doha. They both also had success earlier in the season with their previous partners; Cheng won gold at the Hamburg Elite16 with Betsi Flint while Hughes topped the podium at the Itapema Challenge with Kelley Kolinske.

Career highlights:

  • Gold medallists in Torquay (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Gold medallist in Torquay (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • Hughes: Gold medallist in Itapema (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), World Tour medallist
  • Cheng: 1x Olympian (2020), Gold medallist in Hamburg (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), World Tour medallist

Svenja Müller/Cinja Tillmann – Germany

Tillmann

The Germans’ first full season as partners generated great results. The 31-year-old Cinja Tillmann and the 21-year-old Svenja Müller did well enough to rank seventh in the world. Much of that was due to their bronze-medal campaign at the World Championships, but also to their success on the Beach Pro Tour, where they won the Elite16 tournament held in Ostrava. They also finished in the top ten at all seven international events they played at last year.

Career highlights:

  • Gold medallists at Ostrava (Beach Pro Tour – Elite16), Bronze medallists at World Championships (Rome 2022)
  • World Tour medallists

Carolina Salgado / Barbara Seixas – Brazil

barbara

The second Brazilian team in the Doha Elite16 Women’s Main Draw are partners since 2021. 35-year-old veterans Carol Salgado and Barbara Seixas won the first-ever event on the inaugural Beach Pro Tour, the Tlaxcala Challenge. They went on to triumph at another Challenge tournament, in Doha, and also secured two silvers (Jurmala and Paris) and a bronze (Uberlandia) at the Elite16 level. Ranked second in the world, they progressed to the semifinals of their last four Beach Pro Tour events.

Career highlights :

  • Gold medallists in Tlaxcala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Gold medallists in Doha (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Silver medallists in Jurmala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Silver medallists at Gstaad (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Bronze medallists in Uberlandia (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • Barbara: Olympic silver medallist (2016), 1x Olympian, World champion (2015), World Championship bronze medallist (2013), World Tour medallist
  • Carol: World Tour medallist

Taliqua Clancy / Mariafe Artacho del Solar – Australia

clancy

Australian Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy, 30, and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, 29, are the only team from the Asian Confederation in the Main Draw of the Doha Elite16. They currently rank fourth in the FIVB World Rankings and have shared the same side of the court in international events since 2018. The highlight of their 2022 Beach Pro Tour season was their victory at the Espinho Challenge, but they also made it to the podium at the Elite16 level, taking bronze in Gstaad and Torquay. The Australians also took silver at the Kuşadası Challenge, and made it to the podium at their last three events.

Career highlights:

  • Olympic silver medallists (Tokyo 2020)
  • 2x Olympians (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020)
  • World Championship bronze medallists (2019)
  • Silver medallists in Kusadasi (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Bronze medallists at Gstaad (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Gold medallists in Espinho (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Bronze medallists in Torquay (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), World Tour medallists

Sarah Pavan / Sophie Bukovec – Canada

Pavan

A pair which is the outcome of recent changes among the top Canadian teams, 36-year-old Sarah Pavan and 27-year-old Sophie Bukovec will make their second appearance together at the Doha Elite16 after they were awarded a wild card for the Finals in January. A two-time Olympian and a world champion, Pavan won gold at the Jurmala Elite16 event in 2022 with former partner Melissa Humana-Paredes, with whom she also topped the podium at the Commonwealth Games. Bukovec had a brief but successful union with Brandie Wilkerson, with whom she claimed silver at last year's World Championships in Rome.

Career highlights:

  • Pavan: World champion (2019), 2x Olympian (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), World Tour Finals silver medallist (2021), Gold medallist in Jurmala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), World Tour seasonal champion (2019), World Tour medallist
  • Bukovec: World Championship silver medallist (2022), U21 world champion (2014), World Tour medallist

Melissa Humana-Paredes / Brandie Wilkerson – Canada

Melissa

The two 30-year-old Canadian Tokyo 2020 Olympians teamed up late into the 2022 season and appeared together at an AVP Tour event in September, taking silver. The Doha Elite16 will mark the new pair’s international debut. With her previous partner Sarah Pavan, Melissa triumphed at the 2019 World Championships in Hamburg, became 2019 World Tour seasonal champions and reached number one in the World Ranking. In 2022, they claimed gold at the Jurmala Elite16 on the Beach Pro Tour and at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. For most of 2022, Brandie partnered with Sophie Bukovec and they claimed silver at the World Championships in Rome.

Career highlights:

  • Melissa: World champion (2019), 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020), Gold medallist in Jurmala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16) , World Tour seasonal champion (2019), World Tour Finals silver medallist (2021), World Tour medallist
  • Brandie: World Championship silver medallist (2022), 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020), World Tour medallist

Anastasija Samoilova / Tina Graudina – Latvia

Tina Graudina

Latvian standouts Anastasija Samoilova (formerly Kravcenoka), 25, and Tina Graudina, 24, are another team from the top five heading to the Doha Elite16. The Tokyo Olympic semifinalists are yet to win their first Beach Pro Tour title, but had a solid season in 2022, taking silver at Elite16 events in Rosarito and Paris while also making it to the semifinals in Gstaad. Partners since 2016, the Latvians also had great success at the continental level, securing their second European title in the summer.

Career highlights:

  • 1x Olympians (Tokyo 2020)
  • 2x European Championship gold medallists (2019, 2022)
  • Silver medallists at Rosarito (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Silver medallists in Paris (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16),
  • World Tour participants

Katja Stam/Raïsa Schoon – Latvia

Teams to watch in Doha: Stam & Schoon

Young Dutch players Raisa Schoon, 21, and Katja Stam, 24, had two of the most remarkable victories in the Beach Pro Tour's first season. They were the first women to triumph at the Elite16 level, winning gold in Rosarito, after starting the tournament in the qualifier, and also topped the podium in Paris, at the iconic Roland Garros stadium. Ranked third in the world, Schoon and Stam, who first became partners in 2021, also won a pair of medals at Challenge events, claiming silver in Tlaxcala and Itapema.

Career highlights:

  • Stam & Schoon: 1x Olympians (Tokyo 2020)
  • European Championship silver medallists (2021)
  • Silver medallists in Tlaxcala (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Gold medallists in Rosarito (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Silver medallists in Itapema (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Gold medallists in Paris (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists

Nina Brunner / Tanja Hüberli – Switzerland

Brunner

Swiss Olympians Nina Brunner, 27, and Tanja Hüberli, 30, are another European team to look out for and rank sixth in the world. The two have been on the same side of the court since 2016 and had another solid season in 2022, when they made it to the podium at two Elite16 events, taking silver in Hamburg and bronze in Ostrava. They also medalled at a Challenge tournament, claiming bronze in Doha. Brunner and Hüberli qualified for the final of the European Championships for a second-straight year, but had to settle for silver after losing to their Latvian rivals.

Career highlights:

  • European champions (2021)
  • European Championship silver medallists (2018)
  • 1x Olympians (Tokyo 2020)
  • Bronze medallists in Doha (Beach Pro Tour 2022 - Challenge), Bronze medallists in Ostrava (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16), Silver medallist in Hamburg (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • World Tour medallists
  • Huberli: 2x European Championship silver medallist (2014 & 2018)

Terese Cannon / Sarah Sponcil – USA

sponcil

27-year-old Terese Cannon and 26-year-old Tokyo Olympian Sarah Sponcil reunited for the start of the 2022 season, after playing together for a short period on the 2018 AVP Tour. They won their first Beach Pro Tour medal together in May, bronze at the Kusadasi Challenge. The Cape Town Elite16 silver medal was their best achievement as a team so far.

Career highlights:

  • Bronze medallists in Kusadasi (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Silver medallists in Cape Town (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Elite16)
  • Cannon: World Tour medallist
  • Sponcil: 1x Olympian (Tokyo 2020), World Tour medallist

Barbora Hermannova / Marie-Sara Stochlova

Hermannova

After qualifying for two consecutive Olympic Games with Marketa Slukova, 32-year-old Hermannova joined forces with 23-year-old Stochlova in August 2021. Together, they claimed two medals on the 2022 Beach Pro Tour: an Agadir Challenge silver and a Dubai 1 Challenge gold.

Career highlights:

  • Silver medallists in Agadir (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge), Gold medallists at Dubai1 (Beach Pro Tour 2022 – Challenge)
  • World Tour participants
  • Hermannova: 2x Olympian (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), World Tour medallist
  • Stochlova: World Tour medallist