The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is back with the first 4-star stop in 12 months. The best players in the world have gathered in Doha to resume their race to qualify for Tokyo 2020. Coincidentally, the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup in the Qatari capital was the last big Tour stop before the 357-day “freeze” and is all set to be the first to re-open proceedings.
Having hosted eight men-only Tour stops since 2014, including the 1-star event that took place last month, Doha is ready for its ninth overall and first ever double-gender tournament. In addition, in October 2019, the Qatari capital welcomed an FIVB-sanctioned beach volleyball 4x4 event in both genders as part of the ANOC World Beach Games.
The US$ 300,000 prize money competition is set to start today and last through March 12 at the Al Gharrafa Sports Complex. 101 teams (56 men’s and 45 women’s duos) from 30 different countries, representing all five continental confederations, have signed up for the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup, with both the men’s and the women’s reigning world champions leading the preliminary seeding on entry points.
In each gender a 32-team main draw will feature a modified pool play system with the top three teams in each four-team pool advancing to the single elimination phase. The pool winners will advance directly to the eighth finals, while the pool runners-up and the third-placed pairs will play in the round of 24. With 24 duos seeded directly into the main draw, the remaining eight spots will be contested in qualifications to be played today.
Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy lead the preliminary seeding for the men’s tournament. Reigning Olympic champion and two-time Olympic medallist Alison Cerutti and his current partner Alvaro Morais Filho are the number three team in the FIVB World Ranking and the number three team on the list for Doha. The remaining 21 pairs directly seeded into the men’s main draw include three teams from Qatar, two each from Austria, Latvia, the Netherlands and USA, and one each from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czechia, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain and Switzerland.
The top three in the FIVB World Ranking also lead the women’s preliminary seeding for of the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup. World No 1 team Rio Olympian Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes are chasing their 11th World Tour podium.