FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

Italy confirm Olympic beach teams

Paolo Nicolai (pictured) and Daniele Lupo will lead the Italian men's contingent at Rio having finished fifth at London 2012

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 1, 2016 - Nearly nine months after Brazil released the names of the stars that will step out on Copacabana for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games beach volleyball tournament, the pairs that will compete for gold from August 6 to 18 for Italy and the United States are becoming clearer.

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Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball Qualification
Provisional Olympic Ranking - Men
Provisional Olympic Ranking - Women
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2016
FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup

The Italian Volleyball Federation confirmed on Tuesday that the Italian pairs Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri and Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth they have earned a ticket to Rio 2016.

Perfect mix of youth and experience for Italy
Half of Italy’s representatives at Rio 2016 will be competing at their first Olympics.

Lupo and Nicolai placed fifth at the London 2012 Olympic Games where the Italians ousted Beijing 2008 gold medal winners Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers in an opening bracket match before being eliminated by Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuill of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
Excluding Brazilians, Lupo and Nicolai are listed eighth on the provisional ranking roll with 5,080 points for their best 12 finishes during the qualifying period that started in April 2015. 

Carambula and Ranghieri, who started playing together in 2015, will be competing in their first Olympics as the pair is No.9 on the provisional list with 5,030 points.

Menegatti competed in London with Greta Cicolari as the Italians placed fifth after being eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Menegatti and Orsi Toth, who started playing together in July 2013, are No.6 on the women’s provisional list with 5,180.

Meanwhile, the USA Volleyball Federation confirmed that three teams have fulfilled the qualification criteria however the final confirmation of teams will take place after the June 13 deadline.

Kerri Walsh/April Ross, having won the Moscow Grand Slam last weekend for their fourth gold medal and sixth overall in 2016, lead the women's contenders, while Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena and Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson are leading the charge on the men’s side.

The champ is here?
Walsh is a three-time Olympic champion with former partner Misty May-Treanor and defeated Ross and then-partner Jen Kessy in the London 2012 Olympic Games final to add to the gold medals they won at Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004.

With May-Treanor retiring from international competition after London, Walsh Jennings started playing with Ross in 2013 and the pair is currently the No.1 non-Brazilian team on the provisional list with 6,350 points.

While Walsh would be competing in her fourth Olympics, Dalhausser and Gibb would each be appearing in their third Summer Games, and Ross her second quadrennial. Lucena and Patterson would be Olympic newcomers however.

Gibb teamed with Sean Rosenthal to place fifth at both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. Gibb and Patterson started playing together in 2013 while Dalhausser left his Rio bid with Rosenthal last August to make a Copacabana run with Lucena. Dalhausser/Lucena (5,720 points) and Gibb Patterson (5,500) are currently listed No.4 and No.5 on the provisional rank list that excludes Brazilians.

A possible second spot for American women is still pending with Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat (4,470 points) holding a 490-point lead over Emily Day/Jen Kessy (3,980) with one event remaining on the qualifying schedule in Germany at the smart Major Hamburg from June 7 to 12.

The Americans are not guaranteed the spot as Fendrick and Sweat are No. 13 on the provisional list with seven other teams from China, Argentina, Russia, Vanuatu, Finland, the Slovakia and Austria still in contention.  The task of overtaking for Day and Kessy is simple - win gold in Hamburg and hope Fendrick/Sweat don’t place higher than 17th.

Teams that satisfy the requirements earn their country a quota spot. After the June 13 deadline, National Volleyball Federations will nominate their specific athletes/pairs for the Olympic Games. The requirements for a team to earn a quota spot are: 12 events as a team on the FIVB World Tour, rank in the top 15 of the provisional Olympic rankings and be one of the top two in your country that have satisfied the previous two requirements.

Home advantage?
Brazil earned its two Olympic spots per gender by winning the 2015 men’s (Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt) and women’s (Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas) FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships last July in The Hague along with host nation berths (Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg and Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca).

The final 22 spots in each gender’s Rio lineup will include 15 pairs from the men’s and women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour where a team must play in a minimum of 12 international and/or continental championships together with a maximum of two tandems per country.
Five spots for each gender will come from the winners of the Continental Cup competition within the five FIVB confederations. Tunisia and Egypt have already won the African confederation men’s and women’s Rio berths, respectively. The Asian, European, NORCECA and South American Continental Cup playoffs will be at the end of June.

The second and third place finishers from each of the confederations will advance to the Continental Cup Finals from July 6 to 10 where the final two spots per gender will be decided in Sochi, Russia. Countries earning spots for the African confederation in the CCF are Morocco and Angola for men, and Rwanda and Nigeria for women.

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