2016-08-22 10:05:00 CEST
First teams set for the tournament of all tournaments
The curtain on the Copacabana might have just come down but the heat remains well and truly on for the beach volleyball elite as they aim to secure their spot at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in September.
Only 12 teams per gender can rubber stamp their pass to the climax of the beach volleyball season which this summer heads for the iconic Canadian city of Toronto – but the final identity of the galaxy of stars is yet to be decided.
This week’s Long Beach Grand Slam is the final chance for the players to book their place on the sand in Toronto – but for seven teams the tournament on the golden sand of California will not be the ‘be all or end all’ in their bid for Canada. Why? Well because they’ve already qualified!
A1 Major Klagenfurt champions Samoilovs/Smedins, Americans Lucena/Dalhausser, who were runners-up last year, Ranghieri/Carambula of Italy and Poland’s Losiak/Kantor are four men’s teams guaranteed a shot at the huge prize kitty of USD 500,000.
Meanwhile, Copacabana heroes Ludwig/Walkenhorst, who have also triumphed at both the smart Major Hamburg and the A1 Major Klagenfurt this season, are assured of a place in Toronto, as are Walsh Jennings/Ross of the United States and Gstaad Major winners Larissa/Talita of Brazil – who won this tournament last year in Fort Lauderdale.
So the race is on for those outside looking in to join them, and with 800 points up for grabs at Long Beach, it promises to be a fascinating battle for supremacy.
Remember only the best will be able to zoom straight through to the season finale – we just have to wait and see who they are! And you can bet your bottom dollar if you check back on our website this time next week we’ll be able to tell you precisely what the line-up looks like!
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