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


Opponents at the World Championship, USA's Sander/Crabb and France's Krou/Gauthier-Rat will both compete in the qualifier in Cape Town

The men will be the first to be on the court in this week’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Cape Town, South Africa, with 16 male duos in action in Wednesday’s qualifier at the iconic Grand Parade, in the country’s legislative capital.

With 16 duos contending for the last four main draw spots, Wednesday’s men’s qualifier in South Africa will feature two rounds and as many as 12 matches on the opening day of the first Beach Pro Tour Elite16 tournament held in Africa.

· Watch all matches at the Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Cape Town live on Volleyball TV. The men's qualifiers will also be on the Beach Volleyball World channel on Youtube.

The tournament that marks the return of elite international beach volleyball to South Africa for the first time in almost eight years will include as many as three Olympians in the first day of action.

Two of them will play together, namely second-seeded Americans Taylor Sander, a volleyball Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, and Taylor Crabb. The Cape Town Elite16 will be just the fourth international tournament for the pair, who progressed beyond a qualifier in one of their two attempts so far this season to finish 19th at the Espinho Challenge in July.

The event will also see the two Americans reunite after Crabb joined forces with Paul Lotman in the back-to-back Challenge tournaments that took place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, over the last ten days. The 30-year-old defender and his temporary partner advanced from the qualifier in both events, finishing fifth at the first and winning bronze at the second, which ended on Sunday.

Their opponents in the bronze medal match, Swiss athletes Adrian Heidrich, a Tokyo Olympian, and Leo Dillier, are also back in the qualifier this week in Cape Town. They are joining the event fresh from their best result since becoming partners at the start of the season, and are seeded fifth.

Both the United States and Switzerland will have a second team competing in the qualifier in Cape Town. The Americans will also be represented by 12th-seeded Travis Mewhirter and Cody Caldwell, while the European nation will have eighth-seeded Immanuel Zürcher and Jonathan Jordan fighting for a main draw spot as well.

France, with the top-seeded Youssef Krou/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat and sixth-seeded Arthur Canet/Téo Rotar, England, with seventh-seeded Javier Bello/Joaquin Bello and ninth-seeded Issa Batrane/Frederick Bialokoz, and hosts South Africa, with Lukholo Jooste/Danilo Von Ludwiger (15th) and Heiko Guther/Valaitham Deloshem (16th), are the other countries to have multiple teams competing in the qualifier.

The six remaining spots will be occupied by Mozambique’s Jose Alberto Mondlane/Ainadino Martinho (third), Israel’s Eylon Elazar/Netanel Ohana (fourth), Canada’s Jake MacNeil/Bill Russell (tenth), the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Bercik/Jan Bercik (11th), Germany’s Simon Kulzer/Momme Lorenz (13th) and Austria’s Alexander Huber/Felix Friedl (14th).

With four teams entered and the same number of main draw spots in play, the women’s qualifier won’t be played in Cape Town on Wednesday, with 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 all advancing directly.

The main draw pool play in Cape Town will be held from Thursday to Friday, with the quarterfinals and semifinals taking place on Saturday and the medal matches on Sunday.