Beach Pro Tour - News

Åhman/Hellvig (SWE) vs. Boermans/de Groot (NED) - Final 1st Place #12138180

Stefan Boermans triumphant in Doha

With the deadline for point-based Olympic qualification in beach volleyball only some three months away, the focus will fall more and more on the provisional Olympic Rankings, along with our regular updates of the FIVB World Rankings after the major tournaments. The difference between the two charts is that the World Rankings take into consideration a team’s eight best results over the past 12 months, while the Olympic Rankings are based on a team’s 12 best results since January 1, 2023.

As expected, Dutch pair Stefan Boermans & Yorick de Groot’s huge success at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Doha Elite16 last week pushed them way up in both men’s charts. Meanwhile, the races for a country’s maximum of two Olympic quotas just got tighter for the women’s duos of Switzerland and Germany.

Boermans & De Groot, who were the world’s number one team for three weeks back in May 2022, collected 1,200 points with their Doha gold and rocketed seven spots up the World Ranking, from number 14 to number 7, on a new total of 6,640 points.

They have played a total of eight qualifying tournaments so far, so their points for the Olympic Ranking are the same. That means that in the next four events, they will continue to net all the points they earn towards the Olympic Ranking, without dropping any low results. That represents a huge potential for growth, hence for an exciting race with the two higher ranked Dutch pairs. Currently, Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen and Steven van de Velde & Matthew Immers have collected 8,160 and 6,940 points, respectively, having played 13 tournaments each.

The other medallists from Doha, runners-up David Ahman & Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden and third-placed Anders Mol & Christian Sorum of Norway, have maintained their positions as the number two and the number one teams in both charts. The Norwegians’ Doha appearance has marked their 12th participation during the Olympic qualifying process, which means they have now fulfilled that minimum requirement for a ticket to Paris. The Swedes, meanwhile, have 11 appearances and need just one more. Qatar’s Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan, who got to the quarterfinals at home last week, are another important contender for the Olympic spots that reached the 12 tournaments milestone.

Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers, placed fourth in Doha, gained two spots in the World Ranking, climbing from number seven to number five, shared with Italy’s Paolo Nicolai & Samuele Cottafava. In other movements into, out of or within the top 10 of the World Ranking, Brazil’s Andre Stein & George Wanderley dropped three positions to number eight, their compatriots Evandro Oliveira & Arthur Mariano descended from number eight to number 11, while Poland’s Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak improved from number 11 to number nine. All these teams can feel, more or less, safe for their places under the Eiffel Tower, although the Brazilian candidates may still face a tough challenge from lower ranked compatriots. Brouwer & Meeuwsen also dropped out of the top 10, sliding down from ninth to 12th.

What looks quite certain on the women’s side is that there will be a fierce race for the German and the Swiss berths at Paris 2024.

The Doha Elite16 completely turned the order of the top three Swiss duos in the Olympic ranking. Nina Brunner & Tanja Huberli, who were the lowest of the three last week, reached the quarterfinals in Qatar to collect 7,100 Olympic points and climb above the other two. Joana Mader & Anouk Verge-Depre finished their Doha campaign in ninth place and are right below Brunner & Huberli on 6,940. Last week’s highest ranked of the three, Esmee Bobner & Zoe Verge-Depre, settled for 13th in Qatar and dropped below their compatriots on 6,820. The distances are really slim and both Swiss tickets are well up for grabs, hinting at a lot of excitement in the weeks ahead with a special focus on the Verge-Depre sisters’ sibling rivalry. Brunner & Huberli have played in 11 qualifying tournaments and, unlike the other two Swiss pairs, have yet to reach the required minimum.

Hughes/Cheng (USA) vs. Hüberli/Brunner (SUI) - Quarterfinals #12114230

Tanja Huberli in action at Doha centre court

Louisa Lippmann & Laura Ludwig, the only German women’s pair in Doha, who progressed to the quarterfinals, also surpassed fellow Germans Karla Borger & Sandra Ittlinger in the Olympic ranking. They are now the second highest ranked German team, standing on 5,740 Olympic points, or just 120 points above Borger & Ittlinger, but also with two appearances short of the minimum 12. Both of these duos still present a serious threat to the highest ranked German pair, Cinja Tillmann & Svenja Muller, who have 6,900 points.

None of the top four teams in the Doha women’s final standings changed their positions in the World Ranking. The medallists, Brazil’s Barbara Seixas & Carol Solberg, Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes & Brandie Wilkerson and USA’s Sara Hughes & Kelly Cheng, stayed in fifth, fourth and third place, respectively, below number one Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) & Ana Patricia Ramos of Brazil and number two Taryn Kloth & Kristen Nuss of the United States. Latvia’s Anastasija Samoilova & Tina Graudina, who finished fourth last week, also retained the 12th position in the World Ranking. All of these teams are well above any serious concerns over their qualification to Paris.

Another three of the solid candidates for Olympic berths – China’s Xue Chen & Xia Xinyi, Italy’s Marta Menegatti & Valentina Gottardi and Australia’s Taliqua Clancy & Mariafe Artacho Del Solar – reached the 12 tournaments mark in Doha.