Beach Volleyball

Rakvere brings international beach volleyball back to Estonia

Futures in Europe

Article Tue, Jul 2 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

International beach volleyball is set to return to Estonia for the first time since 2008 as the city of Rakvere will welcome a Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event this week, from Wednesday to Saturday.

Estonians Nõlvak and Tiisaar will get to play in front of their home fans this week (Photo: Volleyball World)

Located near the country’s northern coast, Rakvere will become just the second Estonian city to host an international event, joining Pärnu, which staged a men’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Challenger tournament back in 2008.

The men’s tournament will feature 28 teams, representing 17 different countries. Most of them come from within the continent, with hosts Estonia entering five teams, Finland and Latvia sending three, Germany and Norway two and Belgium, Czechia, Greece Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland one each. Coming from other parts of the world are two duos from Australia and one from Argentina and Canada.

The top Estonian team to compete internationally, Kusti Nõlvak and Mart Tiisaar will lead the field in Rakvere. Playing overseas since 2016, the two will get on the sand in their own country for the first time in their careers.

Besides Nõlvak and Tiisaar, who are the top-seeded duo in the men’s tournament, hosts Estonia will have three other teams starting the event in the main draw – Umas Piik/Dimitriy Korotkov, Kaur Kais/Jaan Rebel and Mihkel Nuut and Karl Maidle.

Beach Pro Tour Rakvere Futures

Also formed by 28 teams, the women’s field in Rakvere will have players from 16 different countries. Coming from Europe are duos from Estonia (5), Finland (3), Lithuania (3), Germany (2), Latvia (2), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. Two tandems from Canada and another two from Japan are also set to compete this week.

Ukrainians Hladun and Lazarenko will go for gold after getting bronze in the last two weeks

Ukrainians Maryna Hladun and Tetiana Lazarenko, who are fresh from taking bronze at last week’s Baden Futures, are the top-seeded team in Rakvere this week. The two also took bronze in Ios two weeks ago and stepped on the podium on both Futures events they played.

Heleene Hollas and Liisa Remmelg, who also made it to the podium in the Austrian event, taking silver, are the top Estonian team in the women’s tournament and will start in the main draw, alongside three other duos from the host country.

The tournament will start on Wednesday, with 16 teams in each gender playing in the qualifier, from where four will emerge. On Thursday, they will join the 12 men’s and women’s best-ranked teams in the main draw, with pool matches taking place on the first day, the elimination rounds on Friday and the medal matches on Saturday.

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.