2019-06-24 03:04:00 CEST

The final steps before Hamburg

Check out how some of the teams set to compete at the World Championships did on their last weekend before the event

Anouk Vergé-Dépré and partner Joana Heidrich won a Swiss Tour event in Olten (Photocredit: Coop Beach Tour)Anouk Vergé-Dépré and partner Joana Heidrich won a Swiss Tour event in Olten (Photocredit: Coop Beach Tour)

A handful of teams set to compete at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord from June 28-July 7 ended their preparations on high note by securing titles in the last weekend before they enter the Rothenbaum Stadium.

Swiss stars Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Qatari up-and-comers Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Samba were among those as they topped the podium of the second stop of the Swiss Tour in Olten. The Olympians won the women’s title with a 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-12) victory over Czechs Michala Kvapilova and Michaela Kubickova. Australians Nicole Laird and Becchara Palmer, who are also headed to Hamburg, finished third.

Ahmed and Cherif triumphed among the men after they downed the home team of Marco Krattiger and Nico Beeler in two sets (21-18, 27-25). Swiss Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson, who will represent their country in the World Championships, took the bronze medal.

Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen head to Hamburg after playing in two consecutive finals (Photocredit: AVP)Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen head to Hamburg after playing in two consecutive finals (Photocredit: AVP)

In the American AVP, Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman continued hot as they won the fourth event of the season, in Seattle. The duo, which is fresh from winning silver in Warsaw in the World Tour and is headed to its first World Championships appearance, defeated Emily Day and Betsi Flint 21-17, 21-12 in the final. Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, who are going to compete in Hamburg, finished third.

The men’s tournament saw two of the four American teams that will compete at the Rothenbaum in the podium as Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb finished second and Billy Allen/Stafford Slick took third. A 21-19, 21-18 victory over Gibb and Crabb gave the title to Jeremy Casebeer and Canadian native Cham Schalk, who is changing his playing citizenship and will be ready to represent the USA in October.

Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins also won a home event as they wrapped up their preparation at the top of the podium at the traditional Saulkrastu kokteilis tournament.

Samoilovs and Smedins won their last event before the World Championships (Photocredit: Ergo Open)Samoilovs and Smedins won their last event before the World Championships (Photocredit: Ergo Open)

Ten nations progress on European Continental Cup

Also on European soil, the first phase of the region’s Continental Cup was concluded with three pools in each gender qualifying ten nations to the final round, which will offer Olympic berths to the Tokyo 2020 Games. Dries Koekelkeren and Tom van Walle, who will compete in Hamburg next week, helped Belgium to advance on pool F, in Batumi, Georgia, alongside Slovakia. Norway and Turkey secured the women’s spots in the same group.

Koekelkeren and van Walle helped Belgium to get one step closer to the Tokyo Olympics (Photocredit: CEV)Koekelkeren and van Walle helped Belgium to get one step closer to the Tokyo Olympics (Photocredit: CEV)

Pool D was held in Schinias, Greece, and the home team advanced in the women’s tournament, as well as Austria. On the men’s side, Turkey and Sweden progressed. Umag, in Croatia, was the home of Pool G, which saw men’s teams from Denmark and Estonia and women’s duos from Lithuania and Estonia moving on.

Brazil makes the double at U-21 World Champs

The week prior to the World Championships also had the Under-21 version of the event taking place in Udonthani, Thailand, and it saw Brazil extend its dominance in the event by claiming both the men’s and women’s title for the third-straight edition of the tournament.

The twins Rafael and Renato Lima took the South Americans to the top of the podium among the men after they prevailed over Italians Jakob Windisch and Alberto Di Silvestre while Victoria Lopes and Vitoria Souza came out on top of the women’s final over Russians Mariia Bocharova and Maria Voronina. Mexico’s Miguel Sarabia and Raymond Stephens and Spain’s Maria Carro and Daniela Alvarez secured bronze.

Brazil extended its supremacy at the Under-21 World Championships (Photocredit: FIVB)Brazil extended its supremacy at the Under-21 World Championships (Photocredit: FIVB)

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