Beach Volleyball

Immers/van de Velde and Zoé/Esmée make it to the podium in Brasília

Beach Pro Tour

Article Mon, May 6 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

Steven van de Velde/Matthew Immers and Esmée Böbner/Zoé Vergé-Dépré are set to return home from Brazil with Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour medals and precious Olympic ranking points after a successful week in South America.

Dutch and Swiss join teams from Brazil and the United States at the podium (Photo: Volleyball World)

Dutch and Swiss were among the two European teams that needed a strong result in this week’s Elite16 event in Brasília with eyes on qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics and both delivered, with van de Velde/Immers taking silver among the men and Zoé/Esmée earning bronze in the women’s tournament.

Deeply involved in a nerve-wracking three-way battle for two spots at the Paris Games with two other Dutch duos, van de Velde and Immers posted their best result in the qualification period this week in Brazil, earning 1,100 points.

The two advanced undefeated to the gold medal match in the Brazilian capital with five wins, but fell to the home team of Evandro Gonçalves and Arthur Lanci in the tie-breaker (17-21, 23-21, 15-9) and had to settle for silver.

Europe could have had a second team on the men’s podium this weekend as Germans Clemens Wickler and Nils Ehlers played for bronze, but couldn’t handle Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley, who triumphed 2-1 (17-21, 21-17, 15-12).

Zoé and Esmée, who are in a similar position in regards to Paris 2024, battling two other teams from their country, took home 1,000 points with their third-place finish in Brasília. It was their second podium appearance in a month as the two finished first in the Guadalajara Challenge, in April.

In the bronze medal match, the two downed Dutch Olympians Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam 2-1 (21-15, 13-21, 15-9). Brazilians Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Ana Patrícia Ramos were the winners.

The next Elite16 event of the Beach Pro Tour will be held in Europe in three weeks, with the Portuguese city of Espinho hosting a tournament from May 22-26.