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Goa to host India's first Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour

Published at :October 18, 2023 at 11:24 PM
Modified at :October 18, 2023 at 11:24 PM
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The tournament will take place from October 19 to 22.

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Mexico are currently underway, and just four days after the 2023 world titleholders are determined, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Goa will resume its activities. What makes this upcoming event even more exceptional is that the Goa Challenge, taking place from October 19 through 22, will be the first major world-level tournament hosted in India.

This marks a significant moment for the southern Asian country's fans, who will have the opportunity to cheer for numerous top-caliber beach volleyball stars, including several world champions and Olympic medalists. FanCode will be the exclusive broadcaster of this event in India.

For the women's pre-seeding based on entry points, Esmee Bobner & Zoe Verge-Depre, a prominent pair from Switzerland, lead the rankings. They have had a successful season so far, reaching the semifinals in three out of four Challenge events they participated in this year and even securing their first Beach Pro Tour medal with a silver at the Jurmala Challenge.

Following closely in the rankings is the Brazilian pairing of Olympians Agatha Bednarczuk & Rebecca Cavalcanti. Agatha is one of the most accomplished players on the tour, with accolades including being a world champion in 2015, a three-time FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season champion in 2015, 2018, and 2021, and an Olympic silver medalist at Rio 2016.

The new team of reigning Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Alexandra Klineman of the United States is pre-seeded third for the Goa women’s main draw. Alix, who also won World Championship silver in 2019, is making a comeback after a long absence due to surgery and maternity leave, with hopes of securing a spot in next year's Olympics in Paris alongside Hailey Harward.

The women's main draw in the volleyball world Beach Pro Tour Goa will feature many other stellar teams, including 2019 world champion and World Tour season champion Sarah Pavan of Canada, who will compete alongside her current partner Molly McBain. Germany's 2013 World Championship silver medalist Karla Borger is coming to Goa with Sandra Ittlinger.

Switzerland's Joana Mader & Anouk Verge-Depre, who won the bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will also participate in the volleyball world Beach Pro Tour Goa. Additionally, this year’s CEV European Championship silver medalists Daniela Alvarez & Tania Moreno of Spain will be part of the competition.

These teams are among the 16 seeded directly into the 24-team women’s main draw in the volleyball world beach pro tour, while others, such as 2022 World Championship runner-up Sophie Bukovec of Canada, Heather Bansley, three-time European Championship medalist Liliana Fernández of Spain, along with Paula Soria, or Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee & Taravadee Naraphornrapat, Asian Championship gold medalists in 2021 and silver medalists in 2023, will compete in the qualification bracket to fill the remaining eight main draw vacancies.

In the men's main draw pre-seeding volleyball world beach pro tour, the Czech duo Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner take the lead in the volleyball beach pro tour goa. They have already claimed two gold medals this season, both at the Elite16 level, in Uberlandia and Paris earlier this month.

Among the well-seasoned teams are Spanish standouts Pablo Herrera & Adrian Gavira, 2013 European champions and two-time European Championship bronze medalists. Herrera, aiming for a record-high sixth Olympic appearance, partnered with Gavira, who has competed in three Olympic Games and will also feature in the volleyball world Beach Pro Tour.

Also, the 2017 World Championship silver medalist Alexander Horst of Austria and his current partner Julian Horl are among the 16 teams seeded directly into the men’s main draw in the volleyball world Beach Pro Tour Goa.

The world's number 10 team and reigning Asian champions, Thomas Hodges & Zachery Schubert of Australia, will also compete in the men’s main draw in the volleyball world Beach Pro Tour Goa. along with the Brazilian pairing of 2015 World Championship bronze medalist and 2008 World Tour season champion Pedro Solberg and Gustavo Carvalhaes (Guto).

The Polish pairing of 2021 European Championship bronze medalist Piotr Kantor with Jakub Zdybek and this year’s Asian Championship bronze medalists Pithak Tipjan & Poravid Taovato of Thailand complete the list.

The men's qualification bracket, which includes 32 teams in the volleyball world beach pro tour, also boasts an impressive lineup, featuring a couple of Olympic medalists. Rio 2016 runner-up and three-time Olympian Daniele Lupo will be competing alongside another Italian Olympian, Enrico Rossi, while London 2012 bronze medalist and three-time Olympian Martins Plavins of Latvia will partner with the rising 18-year-old star Kristians Fokerots.