Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan will be the top-seeded men’s team at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Maldives Challenge from October 13 to 16. Elize Maia and Thamela Coradello of Brazil, on the other hand, lead the women’s entry list for the seventh Challenge event of the Tour’s inaugural season. It will be the first time in history the island nation in the Indian Ocean hosts a major world-level beach volleyball competition.
Cherif & Ahmed, Elize Maia & Thamela top Maldives Challenge seedings, European champs Ahman and Hellvig back in action
Teams from 28 countries to compete on Sun Island
Pubblicato 10:01, 04 Oct 2022
The finalised entry list for the USD 150,000 tournament on Sun Island includes 86 pairs from 28 different countries. In each gender, 16 teams were seeded directly into the 24-team main draw line-up. A qualification tournament will fill the remaining eight vacancies per gender.
Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, who topped the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Ranking for about nine months, from August 2021 until May 2022, and are currently ranked seventh, will lead the men’s main draw seeding. The Qatari pair, who claimed bronze at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, will be looking for their first medal at the Challenge level, after already collecting a Rosarito gold and a Jurmala silver in the top Elite16 category.
Reigning European champions David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig come next down the men’s entry list for the Maldives. The 20-year-old Swedes picked up their first Challenge gold on the Beach Pro Tour when they topped the podium in Kusadasi back in May. They return to the Beach Pro Tour after their triumph at the 2022 CEV EuroBeachVolley tournament in August, when they won a first medal for their country at the competition, ahead of Czech Olympians Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner and world champions Anders Mol and Christian Sorum.
Switzerland’s Marco Krattiger and Florian Breer, who earned bronze at the Agadir Challenge in July, are in position three on the entry list for Sun Island. Their compatriots Quentin Metral and Yves Haussener, who won the Futures events in Madrid and Rhodes earlier this year, were also seeded directly into the main draw.
Other teams to look out for include Myslowice and Budapest Futures winners Patrikas Stankevicius and Audrius Knasas of Lithuania, Songkhla Futures gold medallists and Giardini Naxos and Ciro Marina Futures silver medallists Davide Benzi and Carlo Bonifazi, Coolangatta Futures winners Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis of Australia, and Bialystok and Lecce Futures silver medallists Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik of Ukraine.
Brazilian duo, 37-year-old Elize Maia and 22-year-old Thamela Coradello, will vie for their second Beach Pro Tour medal as bracket leaders in the women’s main draw. They won bronze at the inaugural Challenge tournament in Tlaxcala back in March.
Germany’s Chantal Laboureur, who announced her retirement at the end of this season, and her partner Sarah Schulz are second on the entry list. They will also chase their second Beach Pro Tour podium, after the silver they earned at the Doha Challenge in May. After the Maldives, Schulz will start competing with another partner, Anna-Lena Grune, which means the event on Sun Island could be Laboureur’s last appearance on the Tour. Grune will also play in the Maldives as a partner of former indoor volleyball star Louisa Lippmann, who will make her Beach Pro Tour debut. They will start the tournament in the qualifiers.
Canadian twins Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara come third on entry points. They reached the semifinals of the Agadir Challenge, but are still in search of their first Beach Pro Tour podium.
The list of 16 women's pairs starting the Maldives Challenge tournament directly in the main draw also includes Agadir runners-up Barbora Hermannova and Marie-Sara Stochlova of the Czech Republic, Espinho Challenge silver medallists Sarah Schermerhorn and Corinne Quiggle of the United States, Daegu and Cortegaca Futures winners and Warsaw Futures bronze medallists Lvwen Yuan and Jie Dong of China, Bialystok Futures winners Emily Stockman and Megan Kraft of USA, Ios Futures gold medallists Dorina Klinger and Ronja Klinger of Austria, Baden Futures champions Inna Makhno and Iryna Makhno of Ukraine, and Klaipeda and Ios Futures runners-up Tjasa Kotnik and Tajda Lovsin of Slovenia.