2019-04-26 12:14:00 CEST
The week in the sands of the world
It’s Friday and that means just one thing: Beach Shorts, your weekly update of all things beach volleyball! So let’s get straight to it!
Latest from Xiamen
China is hosting their annual four-star extravaganza this week with the beach elite going head-to-head for crucial World Championship and Olympic qualification points, not forgetting a decent prize purse, too.
The action draws to a close with the medal matches at the weekend but there’s been plenty of drama already in the opening rounds.
So, what’s been happening? Here’s what you need to know so far.
There were two surprising early exits from the tournament at the pool play stage as Laura Ludwig and Maggie Kozuch of Germany and the United States’ Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena both heading home earlier.
Both teams were drawn in what can only be described as groups of death, a quartet of teams each capable of dominating tournaments.
Laura, playing her first event in 20 months since returning from a baby break, and Maggie lost their two pool matches, firstly going down in three sets to European champions Madeline Meppelink and Sanne Keizer before losing their final pool match to Americans Alix Klineman and April Ross.
For the Nick and Phil the duo lost their opening game to new Brazilian duo Andre Loyola and George Wanderley before losing their decider against fearsome Polish pair Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor.
In the men’s event, all of the top 10 seeds made it safely through to the elimination phase, including another new Brazilian pairing, Alison Cerutti, the reigning Olympic champ, and Alvaro Filho. Also in among the last 16 are Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst and the final US team left standing, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb.
On the women’s side, the top five seeds remain in the hunt for gold as do home favorites Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia and Xinxin Wang and Chen Xue.
⏪ SCROLL to see a few pictures from today's qualifier matches ⏪ courtesy of @fivbvolleyball #Xiamen 4⭐️ The last one is what we ALWAYS aim to do: SET THE TONE 🎯 On the court, off the court, in the quiet moments, in the 🔥! What a true gift it is to be able to choose what to focus on. Life constantly throws all sorts of 💩 (good & challenging) our way .... my goal is to always KNOW that it is up to ME to set the tone for my days, my opportunities, my time on the court, how I deal with my challenges, my full life. That part, I CAN CONTROL - - the rest will do what it will ✨Onward to main draw play tomorrow. 1st match against a scrappy and awesome team from 🇧🇷. LET'S GO 🇺🇸! Let's GO @brookesweat @lululemon @kttape @rokasports @michelobultra @platform1440 (@gurusinghyogi 🙏)
4,588 Likes, 62 Comments - Kerri Walsh Jennings 🦁🦋 (@kerrileewalsh) on Instagram: "⏪ SCROLL to see a few pictures from today's qualifier matches ⏪ courtesy of @fivbvolleyball #Xiamen..."
Among the last 16 teams are Americans Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings and three Brazilians teams, one of which includes Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima - who were second here in Xiamen in 2013 together.
We’ll have a full report of who wins what in Xiamen on beachmajorseries.com on Monday.
Social media – Oh what a shot…!
3,821 Likes, 338 Comments - Adri (@adrian_carambula) on Instagram: "This is beach volley... just kidding 🙈🤯 #MrSkyball @enry_rossi"
One team in the men’s last 16 are in-form Italians Enrico Rossi and Mr Skyball Adrian Carambula. The pair won silver in Sydney already this year and have impressed in their short time together on the sand.
In their pool play victory over Andre and George they won this rally with a ‘shot’ that definitely isn’t in the beach volleyball handbook! Check it out!