Beach Volleyball

Ludwig and Lippman move up in the German race with Saquarema silver

Road to Paris

Article Wed, Apr 3 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

Few things will be more important in international beach volleyball in the next two months than qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The race to be a part of sports’ greatest event is always fascinating and generates endless interesting storylines involving the top teams in the world. We will be following the Olympic qualification process throughout the entire period and will also present some articles that will help you understand how it works and introduce you to some of the stars of the sport who will be chasing something special on their Road to Paris.

Ludwig and partner Lippmann gave a major step to qualify for Paris 2024 in Brazil (Photo: CBV)

The three-way battle involving German women’s teams as they attempt to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics via the FIVB Olympic Rankings took a major turn this past weekend, at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Saquarema Challenge, as Laura Ludwig and Louisa Lippmann scored a big result in their Olympic campaign.

The rankings, which will determine 17 of the 24 teams that will compete in this year’s Paris Olympics, are formed by the total points earned by teams considering their best 12 results in international and continental tournaments played until June 9, 2024, when the 17 best-ranked men’s and women’s teams will secure a spot in the Games.

Ludwig, a Rio 2016 Olympic champion, and Lippmann, a former volleyball star trying to make it to her first Olympics, entered the event ranked third among the German women’s teams and needing a good result to improve their situation as just two teams per gender per country are allowed at the Olympics.

They got just that by taking silver in Brazil and adding 760 points to their total, elevating it to 6,500. With that, they not only passed compatriots Sandra Ittlinger and Karla Borger (6,080), as also entered the qualification zone, now ranking 15th.

With only 11 of the 12 required accounted for, Ludwig and Lippmann can shortly pass the top German team in the race, the one of Svenja Müller and Cinja Tillmann, who have 6,900 points and currently rank 12th in the Olympic Rankings.

FIVB Women’s Olympic Rankings

The event in Brazil also impacted the Swiss domestic race, reshuffling the three teams from the country that have real Olympic aspirations. Tokyo bronze medalists Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré went from third to first among the Swiss duos and to tenth in the Olympic Rankings with their fifth-place finish, which updated their points total to 7,140.

European champions Tanja Hüberli and Nina Brunner didn’t play in Brazil and continued with 7,100 points, dropping from tenth to 11th. Esmée Böbner and Zoé Vergé-Dépré got on the sand in Saquarema, but their ninth-place finish didn’t help their case, keeping them with 7,020 points.

The top three European teams in the race to Paris were able to preserve their spots despite not playing in Saquarema - the Netherlands’ Raisa Schoon/Katja Stam (fifth – 8,840 points), Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Anastasija Samoilova (seventh – 8,560) and Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Valentina Gottardi (eighth - 8,200).

Spain’s Daniela Álvarez/Tania Moreno (13th – 6,860), France’s Lézana Placette/Alexia Richard (14th - 6,780), Lithuania’s Monika Paulikiene/Aine Raupelyte (16th – 6,480) and Finland’s Taru Lahti/Niina Ahtiainen (17th – 6,220) all appear inside the qualification zone following the Saquarema Challenge too.

Lyneel and Bassereau won their first medal on the Beach Pro Tour, but are still in a tough spot to qualify (Photo: CBV)

The impact of the Brazilian event in the men’s Olympic Rankings was much milder as three of the four teams that made it to the semifinals are currently outside the qualification zone, including France’s third-placed Julien Lyneel/Remi Bassereau (4,340 points) and Austria’s fourth-placed Martin Ermacora/Philipp Waller (3,900), who are also the third-best partnerships in their countries.

FIVB Men’s Olympic Rankings

Europe has six teams inside the Olympic Rankings top ten - Norway’s Anders Mol/Christian Sørum (first – 10,460 points), Sweden’s David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig (second – 10,020), Germany’s Nils Ehlers/Clemens Wickler (third – 9,100), Italy’s Paolo Nicolai/Samuele Cottafava (fifth – 8,800), the Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (seventh – 8,160) and Spain’s Pablo Herrera/Adrián Gavira (eighth – 7,640).

Austrians Alexander Horst and Julian Hörl (7,260 points) moved from 14th to 12th with their fifth-place finish in Brazil and are inside the qualification zone alongside Poland’s Michal Bryl/Bartosz Losiak (14th – 7,080), the Netherlands’ Matthew Immers/Steven van de Velde (15th – 6,940) and Italy’s Alex Ranghieri/Adrian Carambula (16th – 6,920).

Set to take place from April 11-14, the Guadalajara Challenge, in Mexico, will be the next tournament to make a significant impact in the Olympic Rankings.