Beach Volleyball

The Road to Paris: Jurmala medallists move up on the Olympic Rankings


Article Tue, Jun 20 2023
Author: Guilherme Torres

Few things will be more important in international beach volleyball in the next 12 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 that will be chasing something special on their Road to Paris.

Swiss Zoé and Esmée made great strides with their first Beach Pro Tour medal in Jurmala (Photo: Volleyball World)

The medals won by Switzerland’s Zoé Vergé-Dépré/Esmée Böbner and Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Anastasija Samoilova at last weekend’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Jurmala Challenge have strengthened both teams’ hopes of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics as the two tandems moved up on the FIVB Olympic Rankings, which were updated following the conclusion of the tournament.

The rankings, which will determine 17 of the 24 teams that will compete in next 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 10, 2024, when the 17 best-ranked men’s and women’s teams will secure a spot in the Games.

Zoé and Esméee entered the Jurmala Challenge in eighth place and benefited from the 760 points and their first Beach Pro Tour medal to gain two spots, now appearing in sixth place (3,520 points). The two also gained some ground on the other Swiss teams that have Olympic aspirations, Tanja Hüberli/Nina Brunner (2,760), who skipped the event, and Joana Mäder/Anouk Vergé-Dépré (1,980), which were ninth.

Home favorites Tina and Anastasija will take great memories from taking bronze in their home tournament, but the reigning European champions also appreciate the 720 points they added to their total, which now stands at 3,300, enough to place them in eighth place.

FIVB Women’s Olympic Rankings

Besides the Swiss and the Latvians, seven other European teams appear inside the qualification zone for the Paris 2024 Olympics – the Netherlands’ Raisa Schoon/Katja Stam (ninth – 3,160 points), Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Valentina Gottardi (10th – 3,020), Switzerland’s Hüberli/Brunner (11th – 2,760), Finland’s Niina Athiainen/Taru Lahti (12th – 2,620), Czechia’s Barbora Hermannová/Marie-Sara Stochlova (14th – 2,500), Spain’s Liliana Fernandez/Paula Soria (15th – 2,460) and France’s Lézana Placette/Alexia Richard (17th – 2,300).

The top of the men’s Olympic Ranking didn’t change much, with most of the best teams skipping the event, but reigning European champions David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden dropped from second to third place (4,280), being surpassed by Brazilians André Loyola and George Wanderley (4,360), who took silver in Jurmala – Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sørum remain in first place, with 4,600 points.

Matthew Immers and Steven van de Velde were among the teams that benefited the most from their results in Latvia as the Dutch now appear in 12th place with 2,900 points after they finished fifth. The two were previously in 16th place.

Immers and van de Velde got the job done in Jurmala (Photo: Volleyball World)

Austrians Julian Hörl and Alexander Horst used the points earned with their ninth-place finish in Jurmala to leapfrog one of the teams that ranked above them prior to the event and now are 16th (2,740).

FIVB Men’s Olympic Rankings

Other European duos inside the top-17 of the Olympic Rankings are Germany’s Nils Ehlers/Clemens Wickler (fifth – 3,280 points), Spain’s Pablo Herrera/Adrián Gavira (sixth – 3,220), Poland’s Michal Bryl/Bartosz Łosiak (seventh – 3,100), Italy’s Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri (11th – 2, 980), Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner (13th – 2,860), Italy’s Paolo Nicolai/Samuele Cottafava (15th – 2,820) and Austria’s Robin Seidl/Moritz Pristauz (17th – 2,740).

The next update on the Olympic Rankings will take place after the Gstaad Elite16, which will be held from July 5-9.