Beach Pro Tour - News

David Ahman Jonatan Hellvig Sweden Kelly Cheng Sara Hughes USA Ostrava Elite16 Beach Pro Tour-min

Åhman and Hellvig pose with the women's champions, Cheng and Hughes

David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig added another achievement to what has been a formidable 2024 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season for them by taking the title of the Ostrava Elite16 event on Sunday. Joining the Swedish at the podium in Czechia were second-placed Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot of the Netherlands and third-placed Andy Benesh and Miles Partain of the United States.

The women’s title at the Lower Vitkovice industrial heritage site went to reigning world champions Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes of the United States, who stood higher than silver medalists Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson of Canada and bronze medalists Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova of Latvia at the podium.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite16 matches on demand on VBTV

The victory in the Czech city was the third of the Swedish in four Beach Pro Tour events played in 2024. Åhman and Hellvig topped the podium in Elite16 stops in Tepic and Espinho ahead of their victory in Ostrava – the FIVB World Ranking leaders also triumphed in the last two events of 2023, improving their current streak to five victories in the last six tournaments.

Their excellent run of form started last August and saw them make it to the final of the last nine tournaments they played, having triumphed in 54 of their most recent 59 matches.

The only event since last November that didn’t have them at the top of the podium was the season-opening Doha Elite16, where Åhman and Hellvig fell to Boermans and de Groot, their opponents in the gold medal match in Ostrava. On Sunday, the two-time European champions were better, winning 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) to take the title.

“We knew they had played very well the last time we played them, so we wanted a rematch and now we got it,” Åhman reflected. “They played incredibly well again and it was such a tough match, but it feels amazing now.”

Americans Benesh and Partain secured their best result of the season so far in Ostrava, beating Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway, who were returning to international competition after three months of absence, 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) in the bronze medal match.

Men's Podium Ostrava Elite16-min

Teams from Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States claimed the medals at the Ostrava Elite16

World champions back at the top

The women’s tournament in Ostrava saw the return of world champions Cheng and Hughes to the top of the podium for the first time since their victory at last year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship, last October. To do that, the Americans downed Melissa and Brandie 2-1 (21-13, 21-23, 15-12) in the gold medal match.

It was the sixth international and ninth overall victory of the two since they joined forces for the second time in their careers, at the end of 2022. It was also the second title of the 28-year-old Cheng in Ostrava, where she had won in 2021 with former partner Sarah Sponcil.

“Kelly and I just wanted to play together,” Hughes explained. “We just focused on our side of the net because they’re an incredible team. We knew we just had to do what it took to put the ball away and we did that. The fans here in Ostrava are among the best we ever played for, so I’d just like to thank them too.”

Women's Podium Beach Pro tour Ostrava Elite16-min

Flanked by Melissa/Brandie and Tina/Anastasija, Cheng and Hughes celebrate at the top of the podium

Latvian Olympians Tina and Anastasija stepped on the podium for the second time in two weeks on the Beach Pro Tour as after taking silver last week at the Stare Jablonki Challenge, they got bronze in Ostrava with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) win over Brazilians Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Ana Patrícia Ramos.

Ostrava Elite16 – Match Schedule and Results

The next two weeks in international beach volleyball will be dedicated to the Continental Olympic Qualifiers, with each of the five continental Confederations holding their events.

The Beach Pro Tour will have its next Elite16 event in Gstaad, Switzerland, from July 3-7.

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