Latest Olympic Volleyball News
Qualified Pairs / Pools
Potential Women’s Beach Volleyball Medal Winners
Brazil / USA to dominate?
With beach volleyball being a relatively new sport to the Olympic Games debuting in the late ’90s, only two countries have truly dominated: USA and Brazil. Both Brazil and USA have four teams in the top 15 of the Beach Volleyball World Rankings, but only the top two pairs from each country could qualify for the Olympic tournament.
Even though they are ranked No. 7 in the world, Walsh Jennings and her partner, Brooke Sweat, didn’t make the cut since two other pairs from the USA scored higher than them: Ross/Klineman and Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil.
April Ross and Alix Klineman are looking like the favorites to win for Team USA. Ross played in the 2016 Olympic Games with the legendary Kerri Walsh Jennings where they ended up winning the Bronze medal. Klineman is relatively new to beach, leaving a professional indoor career to play beach professionally in 2017.
In 2016, Ágatha Bednarczuk and Bárbara Seixas won the silver for Brazil, and Bednarczuk is returning this Olympic cycle to seek out gold with her new partner, Duda Santos Lisboa. Lisboa is a great beach player, winning four World Tour events and named FIVB Top Rookie in 2016.
Canadian pair bringing World Championship title and FIVB ranking to the party
But USA and Brazil aren’t the only ones in the running this year. At the top of the rankings is Canada with the unstoppable duo of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes. They are ranked number one in the world of women’s beach volleyball and qualified for the Olympics by winning the World Championships, so they are definitely one of the teams to beat this year.
Germany to repeat Rio 2016 shock?
Germany won the last Olympic women’s beach volleyball competition and they could potentially do it again. Laura Ludwig is back with a new partner, Margareta Kozuch, and they’re looking pretty good after ending up in the No. 14 spot in the FIVB beach rankings. Ludwig has the drive to go back and win the gold again, so only time will tell if Kozuch and Ludwig can connect and advance in the competition.