International Volleyball

Olympic Beach Volleyball Rankings, updated April 22

Olympic Beach Volleyball Rankings, updated April 22

The race for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games officially began in February 2023 in Doha, Qatar, with the Volleyball World Elite16. The 2024 season began the first week of March back in Doha, and the final event of the Olympic qualification cycle will be the Ostrava Elite16, which ends on June 9. Weโ€™ll be providing these updates for the Beach Volleyball Olympic rankings after international points-earning tournaments:

The rise of Cubaโ€™s Jorge Alayo and Noslen Diaz has been as swift as it has been astonishing.

Entering the 2024 beach volleyball season, they had less than 4,000 Olympic points to their name and only five of the required 12 finishes. It wasnโ€™t so much a matter if they could qualify, but if they would even play enough events to be in the discussion. They were, at best, an afterthought. And then they won a silver at the Recife Challenge โ€ฆ and another at the Saquarema Challenge โ€ฆ and made another semifinal last week in Guadalajara โ€ฆ and another this weekend at the Tepic Elite16. Hauling in the 1,000 point bounty that comes with an Elite16 bronze medal,

Alayo and Diaz jumped nine spots and now sit No. 23 in the Olympic rankings and with still two finishes to add to the ledger.

Now, they are no longer an afterthought. Theyโ€™re all but a guarantee to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games on points. Itโ€™s welcome news for Canadians Sam Schachter and Dan Dearing, who will โ€” if they do not make it in on points themselves โ€” in all likelihood, avoid the gauntlet that is Cuba in the Continental Cup. Their best opponent remaining will be Mexicoโ€™s Miguel Sarabia and Gabriel Cruz. Alas, that is a long ways out, and Cuba is still no lock. But with their biggest point finish to date, and a white-hot streak to begin the season, it would, at this juncture, be more of a surprise if they do not qualify.

While the Swiss womenโ€™s Olympic race alas took a back seat in Tepic, with both Verge-Depre sisters sitting out, the German womenโ€™s race took center stage. Sandra Ittlinger and Karla Borger took advantage of the opportunity to knock out Germanyโ€™s No. 2, Laura Ludwig and Louisa Lippmann, in the ninth-place rounds, claiming a fifth and cutting the gap to Ludwig and Lippmann to just 180 points.

The Canadian womenโ€™s race, too, grew more interesting as Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain reaped the good fortune of a lucky loser coin flip to sneak into the main draw. Once there, they broke pool, took a ninth, and the valuable 600 Olympic qualifying points that…

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