Monday, 4 March 2024

International Volleyball

Olympic Beach Volleyball Rankings, updated 12/18

Andy Benesh-Miles Partain-Olympic beach volleyball rankings

The podium at the NORCECA Continental Championships/NORCECA photo

The Olympic race for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games officially began in February in Doha, Qatar, with the Volleyball World Elite16. The final event is yet to be determined, but the qualification period will conclude on June 9, 2024. We’ll be providing these updates for the Beach Volleyball Olympic rankings throughout the next two years.

A medal, at any event, during an Olympic race is never a bad result. While bronze was not the ideal color for Andy Benesh and Miles Partain to bring home from the NORCECA Continental Championships on Sunday, their fourth bit of hardware of this 2023 season, the 720 points they earned in the Olympic — and entry — race bumped them up seven spots, to No. 7 in the world.

It’s an awfully high, and welcome, standard when you can be choosy about where you stand on the podium. Even prior to the NORCECA Championships, Benesh and Partain were almost assured a spot in the Paris Olympics. Now, with 7,620 points to their name and only nine finishes to get them there, all doubt is gone. All they need to do is play three tournaments and stay healthy, and the USA will have its youngest men’s Olympic team in history.

No such youthful milestones will be set by Canada’s Sam Schachter and Dan Dearing if they push into the Paris Olympics, but their silver medal, thanks to an upset of Benesh and Partain in the semifinals (21-16, 21-19), was a boon for their hopes. In a single event, the Canadians jumped from unranked to No. 29, still a ways from punching their ticket but a significant improvement nonetheless. While it’s doubtful Cuba’s Jorge Alayo and Noslen Diaz will play the requisite 12 events to qualify for the Games via points, their gold medal established themselves as the favorites to qualify via the Continental Cup: Their task will be to win virtually this same tournament next June, and Paris is theirs.

The Canadian women, too, came home with silver. Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain continued their torrid end-of-season run, falling to Terese Cannon and Megan Kraft in the finals but still, like Schachter and Dearing, finishing with an important medal and the 760 points that come with it. Pavan and McBain are now No. 23 in the Olympic race, up five spots with one more finish to add to the ledger, putting themselves firmly on the bubble.

These rankings are the final of the 2023 season. The first event of the 2024 Beach…

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