Beach Volleyball

Lille set to host the fourth event of the season

Futures in Europe

Article Wed, Jun 14 2023
Author: Guilherme Torres

After stops in Spain, Italy and Switzerland, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures now head to France, with the city of Lille hosting an international event for the first time from Thursday to Sunday.

Chamereau and Vieira will be the most experienced French team in the women's tournament

Set to take place at the Place de la République, the four-day event will reunite 56 teams – half in each gender. The tournament begins on Thursday, with the qualifiers on both genders, from where four teams will emerge to join the 12 entered directly into the main draw. The medal matches in Lille will be held on Sunday.

The men’s tournament in Lille will be among the most diverse of the season with 20 countries and all five continents represented. Sixteen of the 28 teams entered in the event come from Europe, with hosts France fielding four duos, Germany three and Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Finland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland one each.

The non-European nations in action this week on the French sand are Argentina (2 teams), Australia (2), Canada, China (2), Egypt, the Maldives, New Zealand, Oman and South Africa.

Fresh from helping France win their 2023 CEV Beach Volleyball Nations Cup pool in Budapest last weekend, Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat are the top-seeded duo in this week’s tournament in Lille. The two, who won silver in a Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Itapema, Brazil, earlier this year, will be playing in a Futures tournament for the first time in their careers.

Other European tandems well-positioned to compete for medals this weekend are fourth-seeded French Samuel Cattet and Olivier Barthelemy, seventh-seeded Finnish Jyrki Nurminen and Santeri Siren, eighth-seeded Latvians Ardis Bedritis and Arturs Rinkevics and ninth-seeded Dutch Thijs Nijeboer and Mart van Werkhoven.

The women’s event in Lille will feature teams from 19 countries and four continents – Europe, Asia, North America and South America. Europe will be represented by four teams from host France, two from Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands and one from each of England, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Three teams from Australia, two from Canada, and one from each of Argentina, Chile, Peru and the United States all made the trip to Lille to compete this week.

One of the major storylines of the Lille Futures will be the attempt of Ukrainians Diana Lunina and Tetiana Lazarenko to win their third-straight medal in a Beach Pro Tour Futures event. The two, who are seeded second behind Australia’s Alisha Stevens/Caitlin Bettenay, took silver in Madrid a few weeks ago and gold in Spiez last Sunday.

Lunina and Lazarenko will try to complete a hat-trick of medals in Futures events

Olympic hopefuls Aline Chamereau and Clémence Vieira represent the biggest hope of a French medal this weekend. Other European teams with medal hopes in Lille are fourth-seeded Spanish Sofía González and Sol Guidarelli and fifth-seeded Italian sisters Viktoria and Reka Orsi Toth.

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 ranking points during the Olympic qualification period for the Paris 2024 Games.