Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Olympic Qualifying to Conclude in Ostrava

After a three-year journey, members of the U.S. Beach National Team are finally on the cusp of determining who will represent the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Olympic qualifying process will conclude with the J&T Banka Ostrava Beach Open, a four-star tournament held in Ostrava, Czech Republic from June 2 to June 6. The tournament will feature nine pairs, four in the men’s category and five in the women’s, vying for the chance to secure a coveted spot in the Tokyo Olympics.

Men’s Qualification Scenarios

In the men’s category, three teams will be competing for two Olympic spots. Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, and Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will all participate in Ostrava’s main draw. Additionally, Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk, who are not in contention for an Olympic berth, will start in the qualifying round.

Women’s Qualification Scenarios

The women’s category will see Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, and Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings battling it out for the final Olympic slot. Claes and Sponcil, fresh off a tournament win in Sochi, will advance directly to Ostrava’s main draw. On the other hand, Sweat and Walsh Jennings, with fewer entry points, will have to face Emily Day and Sara Hughes in a country quota match. The winner of this match will move on to the qualifier.

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What’s at Stake?

A quick overview of the qualification scenarios reveals the following possibilities:

  • Alix Klineman/April Ross – Second overall with 9,400 points – Clinched an Olympic berth.
  • Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes – Sixth overall with 7,120 points – Can secure an Olympic berth with a second-place finish or if Sweat/Walsh Jennings finish fourth place or lower.
  • Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings – Seventh overall with 6,960 points – Can secure an Olympic berth with a third-place finish or higher (assuming Claes/Sponcil do not add points).
  • Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb – T-Ninth overall with 7,040 points – Can secure an Olympic berth with a fifth-place finish or higher or if Bourne/Tr. Crabb finish second place or lower, or if they match Dalhausser/Lucena’s finish.
  • Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – T-Ninth overall with 7,040 points – Can secure an Olympic berth with a fifth-place finish or higher or if Bourne/Tr. Crabb finish second place or lower.
  • Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb – 14th overall with 6,680 points – Can secure an Olympic berth with a first-place finish, provided that Ta. Crabb/Gibb or Dalhausser/Lucena finish ninth place or worse.

Highly Competitive Field

The Ostrava tournament promises to be an exciting showdown, with eight of the top ten highest-ranked men’s teams in the Olympic rankings participating. Notable teams include top-ranked Anders Mol and Christian Sorum from Norway, as well as Sochi gold medalists Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losziak from Poland.

Similarly, seven of the top ten women’s teams, including three American pairs, will be competing in Ostrava. Alix Klineman and April Ross lead the Olympic rankings, followed by Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil at sixth place, and Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings at seventh place. Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart of Switzerland, whom Claes and Sponcil defeated for gold in Sochi, will also be vying for a spot in the Olympics.

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For more information on the Ostrava four-star tournament and its schedule, please visit the official tournament webpage. Additionally, live streams of each match can be found on the FIVB’s Beach Volleyball YouTube account.

FAQs

Q: How many teams will represent the United States in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo?
A: A total of nine pairs, four in the men’s category and five in the women’s category, will compete for the chance to represent the United States in the Olympic Games.

Q: What are the qualification scenarios for the U.S. men’s teams?
A: Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, and Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will be competing for two Olympic spots. Their finishing positions in the Ostrava tournament will determine their eligibility.

Q: Who has already secured a spot in the Tokyo Olympics?
A: Alix Klineman and April Ross have clinched their spot in the Tokyo Olympics. They will start in the main draw in Ostrava.

Summary

The Olympic qualifying process is set to conclude with the J&T Banka Ostrava Beach Open, where nine pairs will battle it out for the opportunity to represent the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This highly competitive tournament will feature top-ranked teams from around the world, with the hopes and dreams of athletes hanging in the balance. With the qualification scenarios in place, anticipation grows as the final Olympic berths are decided. Stay tuned for the intense matches that will unfold in Ostrava and witness the determination and skill of these beach volleyball players as they strive for Olympic glory. For more details and to catch the live matches, please visit the official tournament webpage.

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