Beach Pro Tour - News

Pedro Oliveira & Henrique Barros (source: Olimpiada Todo Dia)

Pedro Oliveira & Henrique Barros (source: Olimpiada Todo Dia)

Brazil’s Pedro Oliveira & Henrique Barros and China’s Bai Bing & Wang Fan topped the men’s and the women’s podiums, respectively, at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Pingtan Futures in China on Sunday. Canada’s Jake MacNeil & Alexander Russell and Australia’s Jack Pearse & Paul Burnett completed the men’s podium. Italy’s Margherita Bianchin & Claudia Scampoli took the women’s silver, while the bronze went to Brazilian teenagers Julhia Perandre & Marcela Mattoso.

18-year-old Henrique Barros and 20-year-old Pedro Oliveira, who reached the semifinals of the 2023 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championship in November, now made it to their first international podium, climbing to the highest step and celebrating the gold medals. The 10th-seeded Brazilian pair allowed only one defeat in the six matches played in Pingtan, and that was in the Pool B winners’ match against Pearse & Burnett.

Pedro & Henrique’s last three games were decided in tie-breakers. In the quarterfinals, they achieved a 2-1 (15-21, 21-16, 15-9) upset of the home favourites, top-seeded Ha Likejiang & Wu Jiaxin. In the semifinals, they mounted another comeback to overcome Israeli qualifiers River Day & Idan Katriel by 2-1 (17-21, 21-15, 15-7), and in the grand final, Pedro & Henrique produced a 2-1 (21-12, 13-21, 15-11) victory over third-seeded MacNeil & Russell.

The Canadian pair collected their third Beach Pro Tour medal, after claiming silver and gold from the Coolangatta Futures in 2022 and 2024. They reached the Pingtan final on a streak of four back-to-back victories, dropping only a set along the way, to Pearse & Burnett in their semifinal, which they won by a hard-fought 2-1 (21-19, 11-21, 18-16).

The second-seeded Aussies bounced back with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-13) sweep of the third-place match against Day & Katriel to pick up their fourth Beach Pro Tour medal out of four appearances as a team. Pearse & Burnett topped the podium at their debut at the Geelong in November. Then, they finished runners-up at the Futures events in Mollymook and Coolangatta, and now in Pingtan, for the first time outside Australia, they earned the bronze.

30-year-old Bai Bing, who returned to world-level competition last month at the Xiamen Challenge for the first time since 2019, now picked up her first gold. Her pairing with 30-year-old two-time Olympian Wang Fan, who had already claimed one trophy on the Beach Pro Tour, at the 2022 Ljubljana Futures, also went through the tournament in Pingtan on a 5-1 win-loss record, suffering defeat only in their pool winners’ match against Bianchin & Scampoli, who they got back at in the final with a tight 2-1 (24-22, 15-21, 15-13) victory. In their semifinal, the third-seeded Chinese duo also did the job in three sets, 2-1 (21-14, 22-24, 15-12) against Brazilian qualifiers Julhia & Marcela.

In the other semifinal, the sixth-seeded Italians mastered a 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) sweep against seventh-seeded Linline Matauatu & Majabelle Lawac of Vanuatu to secure their fourth Beach Pro Tour medal. It was the first one Bianchin & Scampoli won outside Italy. Their showcase also features three gold medals, from Giardini Naxos 2022, Lecce 2023 and Messina 2023.

17-year-old Brazilian teens Julhia & Marcela started their Pingtan campaign as the eighth-seeded team in the qualification bracket. After five wins in a row, they lost their semifinal to Bai & Wang, but recovered with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) sweep of the third-place match against Matauatu & Lawac, crowning Marcela’s Beach Pro Tour debut with a bronze, the first Tour medal for Julhia as well.

27 men’s and 23 women’s teams representing a total of 18 different countries from all five continental confederations took part in the Pingtan Futures. China will host another double-gender Futures tournament this week, from May 16 to 19, in Wuhan Qingshan. At the same time, a double-gender Futures event will be held in Cervia, Italy, while a women’s tournament takes place in Madrid, Spain.

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