Beach Volleyball News
Beach Volleyball News
Set to take place at the Biitsi Vantaa Beach Volleyball Training Center, Pool D will reunite two of the strongest European nations on the men’s side at the moment, Poland and Sweden, who will battle with Belgium, Cyprus and hosts Finland for a spot in the 2023 Nations Cup Finals – the tournament’s final will be streamed live on CEV’s YouTube channel.
Reigning European champions David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig will lead the Swedish team in Vantaa. The 21-year-olds, who are currently in fourth place in the FIVB World Rankings, will play alongside 19-year-old Hampus Ekstrand and 18-year-old Jacob Hölting Nilsson in the tournament.
“It will be a fun challenge to play this event with another team. We have a great team spirit and will for sure cheer on each other during matches. We’re preparing well and we hope we can win matches and advance in Nations Cup.”
Poland will feature two new teams in the tournament, which were formed by a mix of duos that were playing together earlier in the season. Two-time Olympian Piotr Kantor, 31, is now paired with 27-year-old Jakub Zdybek while his former partner Maciej Rudol now plays with Pawel Lewandowski.
“We hope this change brings positive effects to both teams and we’ll evaluate at the end of the year where they stand. The tournaments held in June and July will give us some important answers in that regard and the Nations Cup will be a big part of it.”
Hosts Finland will try to be the underdogs in the event and count especially on their top team of Santeri Siren and Jyrki Nurminen, who have won two gold and three bronze medals in international events over the last two years, to cause upsets in front of their home fans. The country’s second team will have Pekka Piippo and Vili Topio.
Belgium will be represented by the Vandecaveye brothers Gilles and Louis and by the duo of Joppe Van Langendonck and Christophe Witvrouwen while Cyprus has selected Antonios Liotatis/Charalampos Zorbis and Georgios Chrysostomou/Konstantinos Yiannakkos to compete in the event.
The winners of the tournament in Vantaa will become the third country guaranteed in the 2023 Nations Cup Finals, joining Switzerland and Austria. The field for the tournament will also include the host country and the other four pool winners.
Created in 2022, the Nations Cup brings added weight in 2023 and 2024, serving as the European pathway in the qualification system for the beach volleyball tournament of the Paris 2024 Olympics – the countries that win the 2024 Finals among the men and the women will each earn a spot in the Games.
The event has a different competition format, promoting ‘country vs. country’ battles. Each nation is represented by two teams and the duels take place in a best-of-three format, with the decider, if needed, being a 15-point golden set.