2018 Review: Busiest FIVB World Tour beach volleyball calendar year ever

 

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 20, 2018 - When historians look back to review 2018 for international beach volleyball competition from January through December, it will be acknowledged as the busiest year ever since the start of sanctioned FIVB events in 1987.

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For calendar year 2018, a total of $7,192,800 was distributed at 47 men's and 48 women's events where 734 men and 669 women from 71 countries competed at tournaments hosted by 31 nations. Chinese cities hosted eight events during the 2018 calendar year with five Turkish sites and four Iranian venues.

A total of 206 men from 37 countries and 211 women from 36 countries advanced to World Tour semifinals during the 2018 calendar year with 168 men from 34 countries and 169 women from 33 countries earning FIVB medals.  

A total of 10 countries earned medals for the first time on the FIVB World Tour from January 1 to December 31, 2018, including men's teams from nine countries (Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Serbia, Thailand and the Ukraine) and women's pairs from nine nations (Belgium, Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Paraguay, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey).

As for winning gold medals, a total of 12 countries topped an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour podium for the first time from January 1-December 31, 2018, including men's teams from 10 countries (Austria, Belarus, Chile, Czech Republic, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Thailand and the Ukraine) and women's pairs from six nations (Austria, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, France, Romania and Slovenia).


The 2017/2018 season reached a climax at the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany.

Russian men's pairs secured the most podium placements and final four finishes during the 2018 calendar year with 17 medals and 19 semifinal appearances, including seven gold medals, six silvers, four bronzes and two fourths. Brazil (12 medals and 18 semifinal appearances - three golds, six silvers, three bronzes and six fourths) was second among the men's teams. Iran was third in medals won with 10 (two golds, four silvers and four silvers).

Women's teams from the United States compiled 20 medals during the 2018 calendar year, including nine golds, three silvers and eight bronzes. Brazilian women had the most final four finishes - 27 highlighted by 19 medals (seven golds, eight silvers and four bronzes).

The above totals do not count age-group events in China and Argentina where Nanjing hosted the FIVB Beach Volleyball Under-19 World Championships in mid-July and Buenos Aires entertained the 2018 Youth Olympic competition in early October. The Russian women’s team of Mariia Bocharova/Maria Voronina captured both titles while the men’s winners were Denis Shekunov/Dmitrii Veretiuk of Russia in China and David Ahman/Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden in Argentina.

Here are team leaders for FIVB World Tour events played from January 1 through December 2, 2018.

Events played
Men - 16, Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan, Qatar
Women - 15, Azusa Futami/Akiko Hasegawa, Japan and Angela Lobato/Amaranta Navarro, Spain

Points earned
Men - 7,440, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands (14 events played)
Women - 7,040, Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado, Brazil (13 events played)


Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in action at the Gstaad Major

Money earned
Men - $303,000, Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, Norway (13 events played)
Women - $258,000, Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa, Brazil (11 events played)

Final 4 appearances
Men - 6, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands (14 events played); and Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, Poland (11)
Women - 7, Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado, Brazil (13 events played)

Podium placements
Men - 5, Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, Poland (11 events played); Abolhamed Mirzaali/Rahman Raoufi, Iran (6); and Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, Norway (13)
Women - 6, Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson, Canada (12 events played)


Heather Bansley reaches for the ball at the World Tour Finals in Hamburg.

Gold medals won
Men - 4, Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, Norway (14 events played)
Women - 3, Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson, Canada (12 events played)

Matches played
Men - 71, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands (14 events played)
Women - 65, Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado, Brazil (13 events played)

Match wins
Men - 52, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands (14 events played)
Women - 46, Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado, Brazil (13 events played)

Match winning percentage
Men - 73.2% (52-19), Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands (14 events played)
Women - 75.0% (45-15), Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa, Brazil (11 events played) and Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson, Canada (12 events played)