Beach Pro Tour - News

Åhman/Hellvig (SWE) vs. George/Andre (BRA) - Final 1st Place #14364386

Ahman & Hellvig celebrate with their coach Rasmus Jonsson after the Tepic final

David Ahman & Jonatan Hellvig are the new number one team in the men’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Ranking! After winning gold at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Tepic Elite16 last week in Mexico, the 22-year-old Swedes dethroned Norway’s Anders Mol & Christian Sorum, who had been on top of the chart for 82 consecutive weeks, since October 3, 2022. It is the first time Ahman & Hellvig reach the number one spot.

For the Swedish pair, the Tepic Elite16 was the seventh consecutive major international tournament, in which they reached the final. That count includes the 2023 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship, the 2023 Beach Pro Tour Finals, the 2023 CEV European Championship and four Elite16 events. They netted 960 of the 1,200 ranking points that came with their gold in Mexico and improved their total to 8,460, or 300 points above Mol & Sorum, who had to skip Tepic since Mol is still recovering from an ankle surgery.

The Swedish jump-setters also took over the top of the provisional Olympic Ranking, while reaching the required minimum of 12 qualifying tournaments for booking a spot at Paris 2024. Poland’s Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak also reached the 12-tournament mark in Tepic, while returning to the top 10 in the World Ranking. After their fifth-place finish in Mexico, the Poles climbed from number 12 to number eight.

In other movements within the top 10, Tepic silver medallists Andre Stein & George Wanderley of Brazil ascended one position to overtake USA’s Miles Partain & Andrew Benesh into number four, while last week’s semifinalists Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers of Germany also moved up a spot into number six, pushing Italy’s Paolo Nicolai & Samuele Cottafava out of the way.

Noslen Diaz & Jorge Alayo’s amazing season continued in Tepic. At their first-ever Elite16 main draw appearance, the Cubans took bronze and not only rocketed six spots up the World Ranking to number 15, but also got to within just 100 points from the cut-off line in the Olympic Ranking. Given that they have played in only 10 qualifying tournaments so far, which means they have two more, in which they will pocket the full amount of points earned, their chances of making it to Paris can now be upgraded from realistic to likely.

Ehlers/Wickler (GER) vs. Diaz/Alayo (CUB) - Final 3rd Place #14350858

Jorge Alayo dives for the ball during the Tepic bronze medal game

The three-way Dutch race for only two available spots under the Eiffel Tower got even hotter after Tepic as the distances between the three teams in the Olympic Ranking were shortened. Highest-ranked Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen, who registered a ninth-place result, have 8,300 points. After the other two pairs reached the quarterfinals, Steven van de Velde & Matthew Immers improved to 7,620, and just below them in the ranking are Stefan Boermans & Yorick de Groot with 7,400, but also with three “free” tournaments to play ahead.

Meanwhile, in the three-way Swiss race for two tickets to the women’s Olympic tournament, Tepic gold medallists Nina Brunner & Tanja Huberli managed to break away from the other two, who did not appear at last week’s event. Brunner & Huberli improved their Olympic Ranking total to 8,760 points, leaving behind Esmee Bobner & Zoe Verge-Depre with 7,360 and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists Joana Mader & Anouk Verge-Depre with 7,140.

Brunner & Huberli also climbed up the World Ranking, from number nine to number six. Tepic bronze medallists Barbara Seixas & Carol Solberg of Brazil also moved up a spot in the World Ranking, surpassing Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes & Brandie Wilkerson into number four, while runners-up Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon also gained one position by taking over the number seven spot from Latvia’s Anastasija Samoilova & Tina Graudina.

The tournament in Mexico did not bring much clarity to the three-way German race for two Olympic berths. Two of the teams, Cinja Tillmann & Svenja Muller and Karla Borger & Sandra Ittlinger, reached the quarterfinals, while the third one, Louisa Lippmann & Laura Ludwig, finished their campaign one step earlier, in the eighthfinals. Although the gap between the highest ranked Tillmann & Muller and the other two slightly increased, the three are still very close to each other, all positioned within a range of 780 points.

It is important to note that Lippmann & Ludwig reached the 12-tournament mark in Tepic. So did Canada’s Melissa & Brandie.