Continental Cup Finals start in Africa

In seven days, the remaining beach volleyball spots for the Tokyo Olympics will all be taken

Africa started the last stage of the Olympic race in beach volleyball with the opening matches of the region’s Continental Cup Finals taking place in Agadir, Morocco, on Tuesday.

Between Tuesday and Monday, players from 64 countries (16 from Africa, 23 from Europe, 11 from Asia, eight from North and Central America and the Caribbean and six from South America) will make a final push for a spot at the Tokyo Games with one berth in each gender up for grabs in each of the five Continental Cup Finals that take place around the world.

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The countries that prevail in each of those tournaments will earn a place at the Olympics. Each national federation will determine which teams will occupy those berths in Tokyo and join the duos that qualified via the FIVB Olympic Rankings, the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, the Olympic Qualification Tournament and hosts Japan. The final list of teams for the Olympics will be confirmed after July 1.

The African event saw a total of six duels involving 12 of the 15 nations entered in the men’s tournament on Monday. Tunisia got a head start in Pool A with a victory against Sudan while Nigeria, who needed a golden match to overcome Kenya, and Mozambique, who outscored Mali, lead Pool B at the conclusion of the opening day.

Egypt and Ghana share the lead in Pool C after their victories against South Africa and Congo Brazzaville respectively. Rwanda won the only Pool D meeting against Togo and also had a positive start in the tournament with a golden match victory.

The meeting between Nigeria and Kenya was decided in a golden match (Photo: CAVB)

Rwanda also had a good opening day in the women’s events as the country’s team defeated Gambia to share Pool A’s lead with hosts Morocco, who prevailed over Sudan. The only Pool B match on the opening day of the event saw Kenya take a golden match victory against Cape Verde.

Each of the five Continental Cup Finals tournaments will be played on different dates and with different formats. Europe is the next to start on Wednesday, but Asia, South America and NORCECA won’t have their first matches until Friday. Here’s the information about each event.

Africa

Location: Agadir, Morocco

Date: June 22-28

Men - Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia

Women - Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan

Competition format: Pool play + Single elimination with quarterfinals, semifinals and final

Europe

Location: The Hague, the Netherlands

Date: June 23-26

Countries:

Men - Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine

Women - Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine

Competition format: Single elimination with Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final

Asia

Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Date: June 25-27

Countries:

Men - Australia, China, Indonesia, Iran, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Thailand

Women - Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Thailand, Vanuatu

Competition format: Single elimination with quarterfinals, semifinals and final

North and Central America + Caribbean

Location: Colinas, Mexico

Date: June 25-27

Countries:

Men - Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

Women - Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico

Competition format: Single elimination with quarterfinals, semifinals and final

South America

Location: Asuncion, Paraguay (women) and Santiago, Chile (men)

Date: June 25-27

Countries:

Men - Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela

Women - Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela

Competition format: Single elimination with semifinals and final

Matches in Santiago will be played at the Parque Penaloen (Photo: CSV)

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