Looking back at incredible beach volleyball action during World Tour
This year’s FIVB World Tour saw fantastic beach volleyball action with 26 men’s and 26 women’s events held safely and successfully throughout 2021.
Now, we have an opportunity to look back at some of the highlights of the 2021 World Tour, from the Cancun Hub events in Mexico, the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup in Doha, Qatar and events across Europe before culminating with the World Tour Finals in Sardinia, Italy and a final four-star event in Itapema, Brazil.
One of the highlights of the 2021 tour was the Cancun Hub, three back-to-back 4-star events held in Mexico. This never seen before multi-tournament hub was created to minimise travel for athletes and featured a total prize money of USD 900,000 (USD 300,000 per event).
The FIVB invested USD 3 million into this year’s events to support host countries and promoters in navigating the challenges of 2021, while ensuring beach volleyball players could return to elite action and compete for Olympic ranking points ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Qatar’s men’s beach volleyball duo of Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan topped the World Ranking at the end of season, becoming the first men's team from Asia to achieve this. The Qatari pair displayed great consistency throughout the tour, reaching the podium on six occasions during the season with four silver and two gold medals.
Younousse and Tijan also claimed bronze at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Qatar’s first-ever Olympic beach volleyball medal.
World Tour Finals
The 2021 FIVB World Tour Finals was the sixth edition of the event with ten of the world’s top pairs per gender contesting for medals. The five-day USD 800,000 prize money event was held at the picturesque Molo Sanita at the seaport of Cagliari on the island of Sardinia.
The event, delivered as part of a joint venture between the FIVB, Sport e Salute, Italian Volleyball Federation (FIPAV) and Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to bring high-profile beach volleyball events to Italy, was a great success. It was also another example of seamless cooperation between the joint-venture entities prior to the organisation of next year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rome.
In the women’s edition, it was Germany’s Karla Borger and Julia Sude who came out on top, beating reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada 2-0 (21-13, 23-21). Borger and Sude’s victory marked Germany’s fourth title in a total of six editions of the event.
This year’s Olympic women’s beach volleyball champions, April Ross and Alix Klineman, claimed the last spot on the women’s podium to earn the USA’s first women’s medal at the World Tour Finals.
Meanwhile, Beachvolley Vikings Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway took the top spot in the men’s edition, just a few months after winning Olympic gold at the Tokyo 2020 beach volleyball competition.
The pair won World Tour Finals gold by beating the Czech Republic’s Ondřej Perušič and David Schweiner 2-0 (22-20, 23-21) to earn their second title after topping the podium three years ago in Hamburg.
Silver medallists Perušič and Schweiner did not go down without a fight however, forcing Mol and Sorum to come from behind in both sets to take the crown.
The men's bronze went to Christiaan Vaderhorst and Steven Van de Velde of the Netherlands.
Beach Pro Tour
From next year onwards, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour will get underway for the first time, marking a whole new era for the sport. The new competition will combine beach volleyball with an entertainment platform that brings together music, food and the beach lifestyle out of which the sport was grown.
The tour will travel across the globe, showcasing the best of beach volleyball at iconic and historic venues like the Grand Parade in Cape Town, South Africa, Rio de Janeiro, which hosted the Olympic beach volleyball tournament in 2016, and the Swiss winter resort of Gstaad, a favourite with athletes and fans since it first became a hotspot for the sport over 20 years ago.
The calendar will be continually updated as more and more exciting locations around the world sign on to become part of the dynamic season ahead. A season which will also include the World Championships in Rome from 7 to 19 June at the Italian capital’s historic Foro Italico.
For the most recent version of the Beach Pro Tour calendar, please click here.