Cape Town, South Africa - elite16 - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News


English Bialokoz and Batrane were among the last four teams to secure their main draw spots in South Africa

The field is set for the men’s and women's main draw of the first Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Africa after the conclusion of Wednesday’s men's qualifier at the Grand Parade, in Cape Town, South Africa.

With 16 teams in each gender, the main phase of the tournament is set to begin on Thursday, at 9.00 local time (7.00 GMT), and the first day of play for the top duos will feature as many as 24 pool play matches.

· Watch all matches at the Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Cape Town live on Volleyball TV.

The 16 men’s and women’s teams will be split into four pools and will face their pool opponents in a round-robin format between Thursday and Friday. The top two duos in each group will move forward to the quarterfinals, which will be played on Saturday, as well as the semifinals. The medal matches will take place on Sunday.

The men’s main draw participant list was completed on Wednesday, when the final four spots were earned through the qualifier. Two teams from England - Issa Batrane/Frederick Bialokoz and Javier Bello/Joaquin Bello - and one from each of France - Arthur Canet/Téo Rotar - and Germany - Simon Kulzer/Momme Lorenz - were the duos that advanced.

Playing in their first Elite16 event, Batrane, 26, and Bialokoz, 22, caused the biggest upset of the day as they eliminated top-seeded American Olympians Taylor Sander and Taylor Crabb with a two-set (21-19, 21-16) victory in the second round of the qualifier.

“It feels really good,” Batrane told Volleyball World. “We were on the same page the entire time, just pushing with our service pressure and trying to work off of each other. We felt like we were training well, but weren’t getting the performances we wanted, so to see it all come together at this moment, it was amazing for us. We’ll now rest, recover and get on the phone with our coaching staff to decide how we’re going to approach tomorrow’s matches. The location here is amazing, it’s such a beautiful backdrop for the stadium.”

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The English played two matches on Wednesday, topping Swiss Immanuel Zürcher and Jonathan Jordan 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) in the morning, and between them, Bialokoz, who studies Physics at college in Berlin, Germany, even found the time to attend an online class.

“We just tried to stay aggressive and to keep playing as a team,” the blocker added. “And it clearly worked. We’re super happy about it.”

The teams that advanced from the qualifier will fill the last vacant spot in each of the four main draw pools. Pool A already had Norway’s Anders Mol/Christian Sørum and Hendrik Mol/Mathias Berntsen and Austria’s Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller while Pool B already featured the Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Australia’s Izac Carracher/Mark Nicolaidis and Austria’s Martin Ermacora/Moritz Pristauz.

Qatar’s Ahmed Tijan/Cherif Younousse, the Netherlands’ Leon Luini/Ruben Penninga and Sweden’s David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig were allocated in Pool C while Italy’s Paolo Nicolai/Samuele Cottafava, South Africa’s Grant Goldschmidt/Leo Williams and the Netherlands’ Stefan Boermans/Matthew Immers were the three teams in Pool D.

On the women’s side, with four teams registered for the qualifiers - Japan’s Suzuka Hashimoto/Reika Murakami and Asami Shiba/Takemi Nishibori, the Czech Republic’s Marketa Sluková/Helena Havelková and South Africa’s Tamlyn Thomas/Nelia Tembe , they did not have to play to progress to the main draw.

The pools for the women’s main draw in Cape Town will see Brazil’s Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa/Ana Patricia Ramos, Spain’s María Carro/Angela Lobato, France’s Lézana Placette/Alexia Richard in Pool A and Japan’s Miki Ishii/Sayaka Mizoe, USA’s Corinne Quiggle/Sarah Schermerhorn, Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Thamela Coradello and Sluková/Havelková in Pool B.

Pool C includes USA’s Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss and Sarah Sponcil/Terese Cannon, Mozambique’s Vanessa Muianga/Ana Sinaportar and Shiba/Take while Pool D features USA’s Megan Kraft/Emily Stockman, Slovenia’s Tjasa Kotnik/Tajda Lovsin, Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Louisa Lippmann and Suzuka/Reika.