FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016

#RioGS


Press release

Road to Rio - 15 Women’s Olympic Tickets


A Puerto Vallarta gold medal last October at the FIVB World Tour stop in Mexico helped improve the Olympic qualifying standing for Laura Ludwig (left) and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 4, 2016 - When analyzing the “List of 15” for women’s beach volleyball pairs in pursuit of Olympic berths via the FIVB World Tour  for the Rio 2016 Summer Games this coming August on world-famous Copacabana, a total of 26 teams from 18 countries are in position to qualify from the international circuit.

More than 400 women from 67 countries have played in FIVB World Tour Olympic qualifying tournaments since April 2015. With the process on the FIVB World Tour for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games concluding in mid-June, the 19th of 28 qualifiers for women will be played next week at the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam on Copacabana.

Olympic Ranking - Women 

OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION

Fifteen of the 24 women’s berths for Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be determined via the FIVB World Tour with Brazil already securing and naming its competitors for August’s quadrennial event on Copacabana. A maximum of two teams per country is allowed to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

To qualify for the Olympics via the international circuit, a team must compete together in at least 12 FIVB World Tour events and/or recognized Continental championships from January 2015 through June 13, 2016. A team’s best 12 finishes will be used to determine a tandem’s ranking.

Five pairs for each gender’s Olympic competition will qualify via Continental Cup action where each FIVB confederation is guaranteed a berth in the Rio 2016 Summer Games. The last qualifying event will be July 6-10 when Russia hosts the FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament in Sochi. The top two tandems from each gender from the Continental Cup qualifier will earn the last two men’s and women’s places at the 24-team Olympic competitions.

HOST BRAZIL

Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas’ gold medal feat at the 2015 FIVB World Championships last July in The Hague secured Brazil its second spot in the Rio Games as the South American country was guaranteed a spot initially by being the host nation. Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca, who currently rank second to the world champs on the Olympic provisional ranking, were named as the second Brazilian women’s team for Rio 2016.

Here is a review of the women’s competition by country for the leading candidates to fill the 15 vacancies via the FIVB World Tour. Brazil, who has already secured and named its women’s teams for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, cannot qualify another team through the FIVB World Tour. Therefore, the “List of 15” calculations excludes Brazilians in the ranking order.

Argentina - Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug are currently tied for No. 15 (3,830 points) and have satisfied the participation requirement. The 2015 PanAmerican champions, Gallay and Klug need to place 17th-or-higher in the Rio Grand Slam to improve their point total.  Gallay placed 19th at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Virginia Zonta. Gallay and Klug have placed fifth, fourth and fourth in the last three FIVB World Tour Open events in Mexico, Turkey and Brazil.

Louise Bawden
Louise Bawden of Australia digs the Mikasa at the Long Beach Grand Slam in 2015

Australia
- Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy, who are fourth on the provisional list (4,680 points), will satisfy the participation requirement at the Rio Grand Slam and will add at least 160 points to their point total. The Aussies won last October’s Asian continental championships to help solidify their Olympic ranking.

Austria - Barbara Hansel and Stefanie Schwaiger are listed No. 20 on the provisional list (3,036 points) and have satisfied the participation requirement. The Austrians must advance from Tuesday’s Rio Grand Slam qualifier and place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total.  Schwaiger and her sister (Doris) placed fifth in both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. The Schwaiger sisters are the only team to win a set in Olympic competition over American champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

Canada – Unfortunately for Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke (2,980 points), Canada has two teams ranked high on the “List of 15”. The pairs of Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan (5,070) and Jamie Lynn Broder/Kristina Valjas (4,460) are ranked third and sixth, respectively on the provisional list. Broder and Valjas have satisfied the participation requirement and Bansley and Pavan will play in their 12th qualifying event together at the Rio Grand Slam to add at least 160 points to their point total. Broder and Valjas must place 17th-or-higher in the Rio Grand Slam to improve their point total.  Humana-Paredes and Pischke must advance from Tuesday’s Rio Grand Slam qualifier and place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total.

China - Fan Wang and Yuan Yue are tied for No. 9 on the provisional list (4,090 points) and have satisfied the participation requirement. Wang and Yue need to place 17th-or-higher in the Rio Grand Slam to improve their point total. Chen Xue, China’s two-time Olympian and bronze medal winner at the Beijing 2008 Summer Games with Xi Zhang, has just returned from shoulder surgery and is trying to qualify with 19-year old Xinyi Xia. Xue and Xia most likely route to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is via the Continental Cup phase of the qualifying process.

Czech Republic - The Road to Rio for Olympian Marketa Slukova and her new partner Barbora Hermannova will be a difficult process. Slukova, who placed fifth in the London 2012 Olympic Games with Kristyna Kolocova as the pair eliminated Brazilians Talita and Maria Antonelli from the competition, and Hermannova rank No. 29 on the provisional list (1,320) and need six more events to satisfy the participation requirement. Slukova and Hermannova will be playing in Tuesday’s Rio Grand Slam qualifier and will add at least 40 points to their total on Copacabana.

Finland - Taru Lahti and Riikka Lehtonen are listed No. 18 on the provisional list (3,090 points) and have satisfied the participation requirement. The Fins must advance from Tuesday’s Rio Grand Slam qualifier and place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total.

Germany - The European country boasts five contenders for Olympic berths led by the teams of Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst (5,500 points) and Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler (4,170), the first and seventh ranked pairs on the Rio qualifying list. Both pairs have satisfied their participation requirement. Ludwig and Walkenhorst, the reigning European continental champions, need to place ninth-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Holtwick and Semmler, who placed ninth together at the London 2012 Olympic Games, need to place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Ludwig placed ninth (Beijing 2008) and fifth (London 2012) in her two Olympic appearances with Sara (Goller) Niedrig. Holtwick and Semmler were eliminated from the London Games by Ludwig and Niedrig. Other German pairs scrambling to best the two higher-ranked teams are Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude (3,910), Karla Borger/Britta Buthe (3,660) and Victoria Bieneck/Julia Grossner (2,210).  Laboureur/Sude, who have satisfied their participation requirement, must advance from Tuesday’s Rio Grand Slam qualifier and place ninth-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Borger and Buthe will add another at least 160 points to their total at the Rio Grand Slam and need one more competition to satisfy the participation requirement. Bieneck/Julia Grossner will satisfy their participation requirement in Rio and start playing in Tuesday’s Grand Slam qualifier.

Marta Menegatti
Italy's Marta Menegatti is blocked by Switzerland's Joana Heidrich at the Maceió Open

Italy
- Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth are listed fifth on the provisional ranking list (4,670 points) and need to place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Menegatti placed fifth at the 2012 Summer Games with Greta Cicolari as the Italians were eliminated by eventual London Olympic champions May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings.

Kazakhstan - Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova are No. 21 on the provisional list (2,440 points) and have satisfied their participation requirement. The Kazakhstan pair must advance from Tuesday’s qualifier to improve their point total.

Netherlands - Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel are No. 2 on the provisional ranking list (5,280 points) and have completed their participation requirement. The Dutch women need to place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Both Meppelink (Sophie van Gestel) and Van Iersel (Sanne Keizer) placed ninth at the London 2012 Olympic Games with different partners. Meppelink and van Gestel qualified via the continental qualifying system for London.

Poland - Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek, who are bidding to become the first Polish women’s team in the Olympic beach volleyball competition, are currently 11th on the provisional list (4,020). The Poles have completed their participation requirement and need to place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total.

Russia - Tied with the Argentineans for the No. 15 spot on the provisional ranking list, Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Birlova (3,830 points) have satisfied the participation requirement and need to place ninth-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Ukolova and Birlova earned a spot in the London 2012 Olympic Games after Russia defeated The Netherlands in the finals of the European Volleyball Federation’s (CEV) Continental Cup competition.

Slovakia - Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova are currently No. 17 on the provisional list (3,210 points). Since the pair has satisfied the participation requirement, Dubovcova and Nestarcova must advance from Tuesday’s Rio Grand Slam qualifier and place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total.

Spain - Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernández are eighth on the provisional list (4,160 points) and have satisfied the participation requirement. The Spaniards, who placed ninth at the London 2012 Olympic Games, need to place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total.

Switzerland - The landlocked European country has two teams - Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Vergé-Dépré (3,950 points) and Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr (3,840) - on the “List of 15”.  Both pairs have satisfied the participation requirement with Forrer/Vergé-Dépré 12th and Heidrich/Zumkehr 14th. Both teams have to place ninth-or-higher in the Rio competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Zumkehr placed ninth at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Simone Kuhn.

United States - The question for the Americans is can Jen Kessy, April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings make it back to the Olympics in Rio with different partners after playing in the London 2012 Summer Games finale. Walsh Jennings teamed with May-Treanor to win their third-straight Olympic gold medal by defeating Kessy and Ross in the London finale.  Walsh Jennings is now teaming with Ross while Kessy is paired with Emily Day. Both pairs now compete with Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat for two possible berths for the United States. Fendrick and Sweat, who are tied for ninth on the provisional list (4,090 points) and have satisfied their participation requirement, need to place 25th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic ranking point total. Day and Kessy are 13th on Rio provisional ranking list (3,860) and need to place 17th-or-higher in the competition to improve their Olympic qualifying point total. Walsh Jennings, who dislocated her shoulder twice last season at FIVB World Tour stops Russia and Switzerland, and Ross have competed in only seven events and amassed 3,140 points. The pair will add at least 160 points for playing in the Rio Grand Slam and need four more events to meet the participation requirement.

Pata and Matauatu
Miller Pata (front) and Linline Matauatu from Vanuatu

Vanuatu
- Linline Matauatu and Miller Pata are 19th on the provisional list (3,050 points) and will earn at least 160 points in the Rio Grand Slam when they meet the participation requirement.

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