2015-11-04 15:20:00 CEST

#Road2Rio: Stavanger to host European Continental Cup Finals

The Norwegian city of Stavanger, which is also a Swatch Major Series alum, will host the final stage of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup from June 22 to 26 in 2016. The competition winners will claim a spot for their country at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Stavanger Major in 2015 placed its Center Court into the unique setting of the city’s harbor; Photocredit: Joerg MitterStavanger Major in 2015 placed its Center Court into the unique setting of the city’s harbor; Photocredit: Joerg Mitter

The city of Stavanger has hosted numerous international events, exhibitions and conferences, but also has a strong connection with beach volleyball. Stavanger played host to an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour men’s open event for the first time in 1999 and has organized many World Tour events since. It also organized the 2009 edition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.

More recently, Stavanger hosted a double-gender FIVB Grand Slam in 2014 and a stop on the inaugural Swatch Major Series earlier this summer. Stavanger has also hosted European or World Championships in curling, women’s ice hockey, and World Cup stops in a number of other sports like speed skating, climbing, etc.

In 2015 Stavanger hosted the #StavangerMajor as part of the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series; Photocredit: Joerg MitterIn 2015 Stavanger hosted the #StavangerMajor as part of the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series; Photocredit: Joerg Mitter

“We know that the Norwegian Volleyball Federation has a wealth of experience in delivering and organizing world-class beach volleyball competitions and we are also aware of Norway’s passion for this sport, so we are confident that the organization of this exciting Olympic qualifying event has been placed in good hands,” said CEV President Aleksandar Boricic.

Stein-Gunnar Bondevik, President of the Norwegian Volleyball Federation, said: “It is a great honor for the Norwegian Volleyball Federation to get the opportunity to organize the Continental Cup Finals. This means a lot for both the federation, our athletes and for the recognition of the sport of beach volleyball in Norway. The tournament is very attractive, for both the players and the Norwegian media and it gives our best athletes a unique chance to fight for a ticket to the Olympics in front of a home crowd. Discussions with the Norwegian Olympic Committee on how to prepare our athletes as best as possible to the final have already started!”

Mayor Christine Sagen Helgø said: “This shows that the long-term commitment that we have had in beach volleyball in Stavanger produces results and we would not get this opportunity if we did not have a good reputation as a venue for beach volleyball. Volleyball, indoor and beach, has sold as many tickets as all other sports combined, our friends in Brazil have told us. It is going to be the number one sport at the Rio Olympics, and it is fun that the Road to Rio next year goes through Stavanger. I hope the people in Stavanger will show up in large numbers to cheer our own players all the way to Rio.”

The 16 teams set to contest the finals of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup are:

Men: Czech Republic, Norway, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Turkey (winners of Round 3 Pools A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H), plus France and Austria (first and second placed in Round 4 Pool A), Latvia and Russia (from Round 4 Pool B), Greece and Switzerland (from Round 4 Pool C), Belgium and Estonia (winners and runners-up of Round 4 Pool D).*

Women: Austria, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland (winners of Round 3 Pools A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H), plus Belgium and Lithuania (first and second placed in Round 4 Pool A), Sweden and France (from Round 4 Pool B), Finland and Greece (from Round 4 Pool C), Poland and Slovakia (winners and runners-up of Round 4 Pool D).*

*The competition follows completion of the qualifying period through the FIVB Olympic Ranking and athletes/national federations who have already secured the maximum of two spots for Rio will not be eligible to compete at the CEV Continental Cup Finals in Stavanger.

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