Dubai, UAE - 1st - challenge - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News


USA’s Hodel & Harward won two qualification matches on Saturday to advance to the main draw

Saturday’s qualifiers are over and the 24-team main draw line-ups in both genders at the first of two Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge events in Dubai are now complete and ready for the first whistle on Sunday morning at 08:00 local time (04:00 UTC).

· Watch all matches at the Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Dubai live on Volleyball TV.

In each gender, the 24 pairs are split into six pools of four. In the first stage of the main draw, a modified pool play format (semifinals, third-place match and final within each pool) will be applied. The top three teams in each pool will advance to the knockout bracket.

With Canada's Alison Mckay and Katharine Wuttunee, Germany's Leonie Kortzinger and Lea Sophie Kunst, Finland's Ida Sinisalo and Sara Sinisalo, Japan's Suzuka Hashimoto and Reika Murakami and four US teams - Molly Turner and Madelyne Anderson, Katie Horton and Julia Scoles, Alexandra Wheeler and Deahna Kraft, and Xolani Hodel and Hailey Harward - surviving Saturday’s qualification grind, the women’s main draw list contains representatives of 11 different countries.

The newly formed pairing of 35-year-old Tokyo 2020 Olympian and 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals gold medallist Julia Sude and 31-year-old Isabel Schneider of Germany lead the women’s main draw seeding and will open the main draw action at centre court on Sunday morning with a match against Canadian qualifiers Mckay and Wuttunee. They share Pool A with China’s Lvwen Yuan and Jie Dong, and Norway’s Sunniva Helland-Hansen and Emilie Olimstad.

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“For sure, we always aim high and want to have a spot in the semifinals. We are lucky that we are in the main draw. It’s a big opportunity to have two good games and we really want to give it all in every ball. That’s our main focus. Every ball counts and we try to do our best in every moment,” Helland-Hansen told Volleyball World.

Czechia's Barbora Hermannova and Marie-Sara Stochlova, Japan's Miki Ishii and Sayaka Mizoe, Thailand's Taravadee Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee, China’s Xinyi Xia and MeiMei Lin, and Japan’s Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi headline the remaining pools.

“We had many good trainings over the last month and it feels like we made a step forward together,” said Bara Hermannova of the second-seeded Czech team. “Unfortunately, we didn’t show our best performance last week in the Maldives, so now we are a little bit pumped to show something better here, in Dubai. We are really hungry for some good results and I think it will show on the court.”

Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat of France lead the pack in the men’s main draw, consisting of 24 duos with 16 different nations represented. Krou and Gauthier-Rat will start their Pool A campaign with a game against the new Latvian tandem of Martins Plavins and Mihails Samoilovs, who will make their Beach Pro Tour debut in Dubai as 37-year-old three-time Olympian and London 2012 bronze medallist Plavins returns to international competition from a year-long absence due to knee surgery. Also in Pool A are Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Arthur Mariano, and Türkiye’s Hasan Huseyin Mermer and Safa Urlu.

The remaining five men’s pools are led by the next five seeded duos: Ukraine's Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik, UAE’s Salem Mohammed and Ahmed Al Houli, two Italian pairs, Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi, and Marco Viscovich and Alex Ranghieri, as well as USA’s Chase Budinger and Troy Field, who earned silver at last week’s Challenge tournament in the Maldives.


Spain’s Huerta & Huerta won two three-setters on Saturday, including an upset of Brazil’s Evandro & Vinicius

The eight teams that had to battle it out successfully for their main draw berths in Saturday’s qualifiers are France’s Calvin Aye and Quincy Aye, Australia’s Zachery Schubert and Thomas Hodges, Spain’s Javier Huerta and Alejandro Huerta, Oman’s Hood Al Jalaboubi and Mazin Alhashmi, Italy’s Jakob Windisch and Gianluca Dal Corso, and three American duos - Logan Webber and Evan Cory, Taylor Crabb and Paul Lotman, and Andrew Benesh and Miles Partain.

Men’s main draw action at Kite Beach is set to start at 10:30 local time (06:30 UTC) on Sunday.