Beach Pro Tour Torquay Elite 16 to start on Tuesday with qualification round
Thirty-two teams equally divided between men and women will compete tomorrow in the qualification round of the Beach Pro Tour Torquay Elite 16, trying to claim one of the four spots available to complete the 16-team main draw for each category.
The women’s qualification tournament includes one of the Torquay Challenge finalists, the Chinese duo of Lvwen Yuan and Jie Dong, alongside a five-team-strong Australian contingent led by Georgia Johnson and Jasmine Fleming. The two young Aussies will be hoping to repeat the performance that last week saw them reach the quarter final stage in the Challenge.
The other four Australian partnerships in the qualifier are made up of Brittany Kendall and Caitlin Bettenay, Stefanie Fejes and Rebecca Ingram, Kayla Mears and Jana Milutinovic, and Brianna Mears with Tara Phillips.
Olympic silver medalists Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar hold the top seed in the women’s main draw and will take to the court on Wednesday at 8pm AEDT, facing Japan (Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi) in their first pool match. The other Australian team already in the women’s main draw is seeded at no. 16, with Alisha Stevens and Nicole Laird starting their Elite 16 campaign on Wednesday against one of the teams from the qualification round.
The Aussies’ main rivals will be Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng of team USA, who proved to be in remarkable form by taking the Torquay Challenge title in dominant fashion last week. They are the only team in the top four to have already competed in Torquay and are seeded at no.2 before Americans Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth, and Germans Julia Sude and Isabel Schneider.
In the men’s main draw, Torquay Challenge bronze medalists Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett hold the top seed, while the other Aussie pairs of Thomas Hodges and Zachery Schubert and Izac Carracher with Mark Nicolaidis are also included in the main draw.
Daniele Lupo with Enrico Rossi and Adrian Carambula with Alex Ranghieri will compete again in Torquay after taking gold and silver for Italy in the Challenge. They are seeded just behind the Suisse team of Marco Krattiger and Florian Breer and the Norwegian team of Mathias Berntsen with Hendrik Nikolai Mol, to make up an exciting men’s top five.
The 16 teams in the men’s qualification tournament include five Australian partnerships, with James Takken/Solomon Bushby, Joshua Howat/Jack Pearse, Lucas Josefsen/Ben Hood, Matthew Abela/Tim Gregory and Christopher Blake/Jack Gregory all competing for the available spots in the main draw on Tuesday.
Pool matches are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday with competitors divided into four groups of four teams each. Each team will play three pool matches, with the top two teams from each group to advance to the quarter finals scheduled on Friday morning and followed by the semi finals later in the day.
The Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 Finals will take place on Saturday from 5pm onwards to wrap up the second event of the Great Ocean Road Beach Volleyfest.
All the matches played on centre court will be streamed live exclusively on Kayo Freebies (kayosports.com.au/freebies). Tickets are still available at beachvolleyfest.com.au
For the full results of the Torquay Elite 16 event, head over to the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour website.