Maldives hosts highly successful Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge for first time

Qatar and Finland take home golds in men’s and women’s competitions respectively

The Maldives hosted its first ever Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge on 13-16 October and proved it is capable of hosting events to the highest standards.

The world-famous beaches of Sun Island proved the perfect backdrop for elite beach volleyball with teams from 28 countries competing across the four-day event.

It was the first time an island nation in the Indian Ocean had hosted a major world-level beach volleyball competition. The event was awarded to the Maldives last year following a visit between FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° and high-level government officials, including the President of the Republic of Maldives His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and sports officials, to discuss the development of beach volleyball in the country.

FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° said:

“We congratulate the Maldives on hosting this fantastic event. You could not tell it was their first beach volleyball event; it looked as though they had been hosting high-quality events for many years. We hope that this will act as a springboard for the development of beach volleyball in the Maldives and the FIVB will continue to support them in any way we can.”

The event attracted a range of well-established stars and new breakthrough talent.

Olympic bronze medallists from Qatar, Cherif Younousse Samba and Ahmed Tijan, were the highest ranked team on the men’s side and their experienced showed as they took home gold in a dominant display.

On the women’s side the Finnish veterans Taru Lahti and Niina Ahtiainen were finally able to claim their gold in a historic day which also saw their compatriots,  Anniina Parkkinen and Sara Sinisalo win bronze.