Here we go! The final year of Olympic qualification. This year the FIVB World Tour will be super charged with every team battling for available Olympic positions.
The 2011 World Tour kicked off last week in Brasilia and from first impressions, looks very much like the end of last year.
In the Womens, Larissa-Juliana BRA defeated May-Treanor-Walsh USA in a close final, 15 – 12 in the third set, while Rogers-Dalhausser USA beat Emanuel-Alison BRA in a fairly one sided affair.
View the full womens results here. FIVB Brasilia Open | Women
View the full mens results here. FIVB Brasilia Open | Men
In the weeks to come we will look more closely at some of the new faces that have emerged in the last few events, and find out who has the best chance of qualifying for the upcoming Olympic games.
From Australia, the team of Bawden-Palmer finished a respectable 9th, proving that their streak last year was not a fluke. They are building their game nicely, and started the tournament with a huge win over Kessy-Ross from the USA.
Other “locals” performing well are the kiwi boys Lochhead-Pitman from New Zealand, finishing 13th. Although they might seem to lack the power game to overcome the top seeds, their consistency makes them a chance to beat any team that isn’t 100% ready to play. It will be interesting to see how these guys do over what is likely to be the toughest year of beach volleyball ever.