Chetumal, Mexico, November 11, 2019 – After successfully hosting an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour women-only three-star event last season, Chetumal is ready to welcome the sport’s elite once again as the Mexican coastal city will stage the fifth tournament of 2019-2020 this week, from November 13-18.
Unlike last season, however, this time both men and women will compete at the venue erected at the Plaza Bicentenario, in front of the Obelisco a la bandera, as the event was upgraded to a double-gender four-star tournament.
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Points earned in the tournament will count towards the Olympic rankings, which will have the 15 highest ranked teams in each gender as of June 15, 2020 each earning one quota place for their National Olympic Committee (NOC)/National Federation (NF) at the Tokyo Games, respecting the maximum of two quota places per NOC/NF.
The event in Quintana Roo’s state capital will draw 89 teams (47 men and 42 women) coming from four continents and 28 different nations. Among them are two medallists from last year’s tournament.
Currently ranked 14th in the world rankings, Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson will return to the stage of the most recent of their three World Tour victories where they downed Americans Geena Urango and Caitlin Ledoux to take gold in October 2018.
USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat, on the other hand, earned the first of their six podium placements together in the Mexican city after they prevailed over Canadian twins Megan and Nicole McNamara to claim bronze last season. They are the number seven team in the world rankings now.
The home representation will feature five female teams, three of which are guaranteed berths in Thursday’s main draw, including the top Mexican duo of Martha Revuelta and Zaira Orellana, who finished fifth in Chetumal last season.
The men’s field is also a strong one as it’s led by Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallists and 2013 world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands. The Dutch, who are ranked seventh in the world rankings, played in Mexico once before, in 2016, in Puerto Vallarta, and won a silver medal.
Poland's Grzegorz Fijalek (left) and Michal Bryl are among the medal contenders in Chetumal
Polish Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl are another top-ten team in the world set to play in Chetumal this year – they rank sixth. The Europeans are still pursuing their first World Tour title as a team, but have already captured six international medals in 29 tournaments.
Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros, the 2015 Pan-American champions and arguably the most successful Mexican team to compete on the World Tour, will lead the home effort in the men’s tournament as they will be joined by four other teams of compatriots.
Chetumal Entry Lists: Men