Beach Volleyball

Spanish teams go for a spot in the Finals in Madrid

Beach Nations Cup 2024

Article Sun, May 12 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

A busy 11-day period of beach volleyball continues in Madrid on Monday, with the CEV Beach Nations Cup 2024 arriving in the Spanish capital for critical three days of action in the race to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Veterans Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira will lead the Spanish team in front of their home fans

The city, which hosted a men-only Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event from Thursday to Sunday at the Parque Deportivo Puerta de Hierro, will now welcome teams from ten different European countries, who will compete in the Beach Nations Cup Preliminary Phase in both genders.

The men’s event will have hosts Spain, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Israel and Northern Ireland competing in Pool B. The women’s tournament will feature Spain, Bulgaria, Cyprus, England, Israel and Norway in Pool C.

The Beach Nations Cup is the continental pathway for the Paris Olympics as the winners of the men’s and women’s tournament Finals, which will be held in Jurmala, Latvia, from June 13-16, will each earn a spot at the Games.

On the men’s side, Latvia, as the host country, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, who won their pools at last year’s Beach Nations Cup, are guaranteed in the Finals. The last four berths will be awarded during this year’s Preliminary Phase, with the winners of this week’s event in Madrid also advancing.

The women’s Finals also have eight nations already confirmed – Latvia, as the host country, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland, as last year’s pool winners, and Ukraine, who prevailed in this year’s Pool D. Three other spots will be determined in this year’s Preliminary Phase, with the 12th and final berth being allocated to the National Federation with the highest position in the CEV Country Ranking as of June 10th, 2024, among all those finishing as runners-up in the 2024 Preliminary Phase.

Hosts Spain will bring their best teams to the sand this week in Madrid and appear as the favorites to triumph among the men. The Spanish will rely on their top team of Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira, who have eight Olympic appearances between them, and also on the Huerta brothers Alejandro and Javier.

Czechia, represented by Tomas Semerad/Adam Stocek, and Krystof Oliva/Vaclav Kurka, and Denmark, with Christian Anderson/Marius Hansen and Mads Møllgaard/Nicolai Hovmann, will also be in contention.

Beach Nations Cup – Men’s Pool B

Bulgaria will have the teams of Nikolay Kostov/Mario Iliev and Dimitar Mehandzhiyski/Dimitar Kalchev, Finland will feature Arttur Pennanen/Valtter Pennanen and Santeri Siren/Jyrki Nurminen, Israel will bring Eylon Elazar/Kevin Cuzmiciov and Tomer Hadar/David Lanciano and Northern Ireland will be represented by Gavin McCaughern/Aaron Fleming and Jeff Scott/Jonathan Workman.

Led by last year’s CEV EuroBeachVolley silver medalists Daniela Álvarez and Tania Moreno, Spain also emerge as the favorites among the women this week. The two will be joined by another top duo at the international level, the one of three-time Olympian Liliana Fernández and partner Paula Soria.

Daniela Álvares and Tania Moreno took silver at last year's EuroBeachVolley and will try to qualify to their first Olympics

Norway will also line up a pair of strong teams in the event, having Sunniva Helland-Hansen/Emilie Olimstad and Oda Steinsvåg/Frida Bentsen represent them at the Spanish capital this week.

Beach Nations Cup – Women’s Pool C

Bulgaria will have Darina Kindova/Eva Petrova and Irena Mishonova/Desislava Nikolova, Cyprus will feature Erika Nyström/Alexandra Gusarova and Erika Zembyla/Maria Siapini, England will send Anaya Evans/Katie Keefe and Kirsty Star/Daisy Mumby and Israel will rely on Anita Dave/Yahli Ashush and Shira Tal/Michal Barannik.

The Beach Nations Cup 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.