Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals head to home of Olympic champions: Hamburg!
Hamburg will host the end-of-season spectacular between August 22-27 as beach volleyball returns to the Northern German city of 2016 Copacabana heroes Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.
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Last season’s Hamburg Major, which was also won by Ludwig/Walkenhorst, saw thousands of fans flock to the iconic Rothenbaum Stadium in the heart of this bustling city to witness a spectacular week of high-class beach volleyball.
However, the 2017 Hamburg Major gets the World Tour Finals upgrade and promises to be even bigger and better as 12 top teams per gender meet to compete for a prize money of $800,000 and the right to be named Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals champions.
And German fans will be hoping to cheer on home heroes Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, Markus Böckermann/Lars Flüggen and Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch when the Finals head to Hamburg.
FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° said: “The Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg will serve as the final climax of this year’s beach volleyball calendar, bringing together the top teams in the world just two weeks after the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships are completed in Vienna, Austria. I look forward to a wonderful spectacle in the city of Hamburg, which also hosted the highly successful Hamburg Major in 2016. Celebrating the stars of our sport and their achievements is key as the FIVB seeks to promote beach volleyball to a growing audience worldwide.”
Centre court at the Hamburg Major in 2016
Beach Majors CEO Hannes Jagerhofer said: “Last year’s tournament in Hamburg proved that beach volleyball in Germany is booming. We witnessed an unbelievable atmosphere and crowd at the Rothenbaum and we felt that turning a Major into the Swatch World Tour Finals would further enhance the feel-good factor of the sport in this country following Laura and Kira’s incredible success at the Rio Olympics.
“The German teams are among the most feared in the world right now and we can’t wait to see how they will perform on home sand.”
The tournament follows quickly in the footsteps of the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, Austria – so revenge between the best of the best in Hamburg will make for an even more mouthwatering occasion.
Olympic champion Ludwig said: “Last year the people of Hamburg came out in their thousands and it made an incredible atmosphere. Hamburg is crazy for beach volleyball and I am sure that the World Tour Finals will be a mega event.
“Kira and I are very excited to defend our World Tour champions title at home. The home crowd already made the difference at our Hamburg Major victory last year, where they pushed us to win.
“We hope that Hamburg will turn to Klagenfurt and are very proud that our hometown Hamburg will be the host of the international final of the season.”
The 2017 edition of the Swatch World Tour Finals will be the third of its kind following the previous season’s instalments in Fort Lauderdale, USA, in 2015 and, last season, in Toronto, Canada.
Twelve teams per gender will compete for the title of Swatch World Tour Finals Champions. Eight teams will qualify via the FIVB World Ranking – Men & Women. The confirmed entry list will be announced 14 days before the start of the tournament on August 8. The last qualifying tournament will be the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships from July 28 to August 6, 2017.
Teams (not individual athletes) qualify for the event. Four wild cards will be granted. A country quota of two teams per nation per gender (including wild cards) will be applied.
Four pools of three teams each will compete in a round robin format, which will be followed by a second phase in a single elimination format. The winners of each pool will advance directly to the quarterfinals. The second and third ranked teams in each pool will progress to the Round of 16.
The 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball Calendar extends from February to August, with teams competing at 25 venues in 19 countries. The calendar includes a new star-rating system for World Tour events with four 5-Star events, three of which are part of the FIVB Swatch Major Series portion of the schedule, three 4-Star events, four 3-Star events, four 2-Star events and seven 1-Star. The 2017 calendar also features the $1,000,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, Austria from July 28 to August 6 and the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Nanjing, China from July 11 to 16.