Beach Volleyball

Action-packed week has tournaments in Ios, Messina and Geneva

Futures in Europe

Article Tue, Jun 18 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

Nearly 140 teams from all over the world will be in action in Europe this week on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour as the continent is set to host three simultaneous events over the next few days – double-genders in Ios, Greece, and Messina, Italy, and a men’s tournament in Geneva, Switzerland.

German veteran Kozuch will return to international competition after three years (Photo: Volleyball World)

The first of the three tournaments to start and end, the Ios Futures will be held at the Mylopotas Free Beach Bar from Wednesday to Sunday. As many as 22 countries will be represented among the 55 teams (28 men, 27 women) set to compete in the Greek event, 17 of which are European nations.

Hosts Greece have the most participants with ten, followed by Latvia (5), Austria (3), Germany (3), Norway (3), Switzerland (3), Israel (2), Ukraine (2), Czechia, England, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Serbia. Coming from outside the continent are duos from the United States (6), Australia (3), Canada (2), Japan (2) and Argentina.

Beach Pro Tour Ios Futures

The men’s tournament in Greece has Serbians Djordje Klasnic and Lazar Kolaric as the top-seeded and Austrian veteran Christopher Dressler, who recently represented his country at the CEV Beach Nations Cup Finals – he’ll be paired with Maximilian Trummer in Ios - as some of its main attractions.

Serbians Klasnic and Kolaric will fight for gold in Ios

On the women’s side, the main standouts are top-seeded Ukrainians Maryna Hladun and Tetiana Lazarenko, who also featured in the Beach Nations Cup Finals, and German Olympian Julia Sude, who’s seeded fourth with partner Lea Knust.

Scheduled to take place from Thursday to Sunday at the Piazza Duomo, the Messina Futures will reunite 56 duos (half in each gender) from Thursday to Sunday in the Italian city.

Europe will have 16 different nations competing – Italy (10), Czechia (5), Germany (5), Slovakia (4), the Netherlands (3), Switzerland (3), England (2), Hungary (2), Spain (2), Ukraine (2), Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Israel and Poland. Teams from Egypt (5), the United States (2), Australia, Argentina, Canada, Cameroon and Japan also appear on the entry list.

The event will mark the return of German Olympian Margareta Kozuch to an official tournament for the first time since the Tokyo Games, in 2021 – partner Sarah Schneider and her are the top-seeded team in Messina. Three other Olympians will appear in the women’s event – Italy’s Viktoria Orsi Toth, playing with Valentina Cali, Czechia’s Marketa Sluková, having Karin Zolnercikova as her partner, and Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy, paired with Marwa Albelhdady.

Czech Marketa Sluková is one of four Olympians set to play in Messina

Beach Pro Tour Messina Futures

The men’s event in Messina has home teams occupying the top three spots in the men’s entry list, with Gianluca Dal Corso/Marco Viscovich, Davide Benzi/Carlo Bonifazi and Tobia Marchetto/Jakob Windisch ranking first, second and third respectively.

In Geneva, the 28-team men’s event set to take place at the La Rotonde du Mont-Blanc from Thursday to Sunday will include 23 duos from Europe – Switzerland (6), France (3), Norway (3), Italy (2), Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Spain and Ukraine. Duos from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States complete the entry list.

Hosts Switzerland will send a strong lineup to compete at home, including top-seeded Marco Krattiger and Florian Breer and Tokyo Olympian Adrian Heidrich alongside partner Leo Dillier. Reigning U20 European champions Téo Rotar and Arthur Canet, of France, will also be among the contenders.

Breer and Krattiger will try to give Switzerland a home victory in Geneva

Beach Pro Tour Geneva Futures

The tournament will also feature a pair of volleyball Olympians in Italian Matteo Martino, who played in Beijing 2008 and will be in the qualifier with Matteo Cecchini, and Japanese Yusuke ‘Gottsu’ Ishijima, who appeared in the same edition of the Games and will compete alongside Kensuke Shoji in the main draw in Geneva.

All three tournaments begin with the qualifiers, featuring up to 16 teams per gender, who will play for the last four spots in the main draw. The second day will have pool play action, continuing with the elimination rounds and the medal rounds.

The Beach Pro Tour Futures events in Europe are run by the CEV in close cooperation with Volleyball World and provide teams from the continent with several opportunities to compete and gain valuable international ranking points.