International Volleyball

Olympic Beach Volleyball Rankings, updated May 6

Olympic Beach Volleyball Rankings, updated May 6

Zoe Verge-Depre, right, and Esmee Bobner in Brasilia/Volleyball World photo

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:

With three events remaining in the Olympic qualification period โ€” an Elite16 in Espinho, Portugal, a Challenge in Stare Jablonki, Poland, and an Elite16 in Ostrava, Czech Republic โ€” the womenโ€™s race has been essentially boiled down the reality television show of Keeping up With the Verge-Depre Sisters.

Somehow, with each episode, they continue to keep pace with each other.

Zoe Verge-Depre and Esmee Bobner led older sister Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Mader, bronze medalists at the Tokyo Olympic Games, entering the season. Anouk and Mader took the lead at the season-opening tournament in Doha, and the lead has flipped every single event since, each team one-upping the other in an impressive display of Swiss strength. When Zoe and Bobner won their first gold medal at a Challenge in Guadalajara, Anouk and Mader nearly matched it with a silver in Xiamen but took the lead nonetheless. Zoe and Bobner responded again his past weekend in Brasilia, Brazil, claiming a bronze medal, their first podium at an Elite16.

Back in the lead they went.

Zoe and Bobner now hold their biggest lead over Anouk and Mader, a 460-point edge that, on paper, would seem safe, but this is the Swiss race weโ€™re speaking of โ€” no lead has been safe for a single week in 2024.

A similar sentiment could be said of the menโ€™s Dutch race. A gold medal by Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot to open the season in Doha, and three straight fifths from No. 3 Steven van de Velde and Matthew Immers, appeared to settle it: Boermans and de Groot had cemented one spot, while Alex Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen had long locked up the other. Immers and van de Velde, though impressive, would just miss.

Then came Brasilia. Immers and van de Velde had never medaled in an Elite16. In fact, theyโ€™d made just a single podium in a Challenge, posting more qualifier knock-outs than they had medals in the first 14 months of the qualification period. But when they needed it most, they delivered, winning a silver medal in Brasilia…

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