2016-05-20 13:05:00 CET
12 host teams in contention for medals on home sand in Cincinnati
At the start of the week we asked the question, can anybody stop the American domination at this week’s Cincinnati Open?
Well, if the results so far are anything to go by, then the rest of the world’s beach volleyball stars have a fight on their hands to turn the tide because all 12 American teams who started the tournament are still in with a chance of winning it!
Four of these dynamic digging duos have marched confidently straight into the second round, while eight American pairs will compete in the first knockout stage….so American’s grip on the medals might not be so assured after all.
In the men’s half of the draw, the glorious gold medalists of 2014 – Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson – have made light work of the opposition so far, zooming through with three wins from three – and it’s the same story for Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser and brothers Trevor and Taylor Crabb.
The only American women’s team guaranteed a place in the second knockout stage are, yes, you guessed it, 2014 gold medalists April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings. The all-conquering number one seeds will definitely face American opposition in round two – either Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy or Lane Carico/Summer Ross.
So who is best placed to put a spanner in the works and stop the American dream of scooping every single medal? Canada of course!
Ross and Jennings biggest rivals are Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley, and the Canadians – who have earned 10 top five finishes in their last 12 tournaments – have romped to three Pool wins to book a place in the second round.
Also joining the Americans are Betschart/Hüberli (SUI), Liliana/Elsa (ESP), Slukova/Hermannova (CZE), Holtwick/Semmler (GER), Matauatu/Pata (VAN) and Braakman/Sinnema (NED).
As for the guys, Canadian hopes lie in the hands of Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter and Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton. However, the latter pair needs to overcome a first round tie – and should they win that against Argentinians Nicolas Capogrosso and Ian Mehamed – they would face a mouthwatering second round match with Mexico’s Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros.
Among the other men’s pool winners who advanced straight into round two were Guto/Saymon (BRA), Poniewaz/Walkenhorst (GER) and Kapa/McHugh (AUS).
A lot of questions will be answered over the next few days – the tournament reaches its climax on Saturday with the semi-finals and finals – so make sure the first thing you do on Monday morning is head straight to our website to find out who won what! You know it makes sense!