Montpellier next on World Tour schedule


Marco (left) and Esteban Grimalt of Chile headline the Montpellier Open entries.

Lausanne, Switzerland, August 24, 2020 - The 2019-2020 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour schedule continues here Tuesday as the southern France city of Montpellier hosts the international circuit for the fourth time in the last 36 months.

A men's only event, the Montpellier event's qualifier will advance four pairs to the 16-team main draw where pool play will be featured on Wednesday followed by elimination rounds on Thursday and Friday. The semifinals and medal matches will be played on Saturday.

Led by Grimalt cousins (Esteban and Marco) of Chile, the Montpellier tournament has attracted 26 tandems from 10 countries with other pairs from France (7 teams), Germany (2), Israel (1), Italy (3), Netherlands (1), Portugal (2), Serbia (2), Sweden (3) and Switzerland (4).

The Grimalts, who have captured three FIVB gold medals and appeared in five international finales, were listed 25th on the World Tour rankings when the standings were frozen in mid-March due to the pandemic.

Also scheduled to compete this week is Quincy Aye as the Frenchman has placed on the podium in the past three Montpellier events with a second-place finish last season with Arnaud Gauthier-Rat after the pair dropped the August 2019 finale to Dutchmen Dirk Boehle and Stefan Boermans.

France's Quincy Aye (left) and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat

Aye teamed with Youssef Krou to place third and second in the 2017 and 2018 Montpellier events, respectively. Edouard Rowlandson, who captured the 2018 Montpellier title with Olivier Barthelemy, is competing this week with Tom Altwies.

The Swiss pair of Yves Haussener and Quentin Metral, who captured the bronze medal at last week's Baden Open in Austria after defeating 2017 Montpellier winners Jan Pokersnik and Nejc Zemljak of Slovenia in the bronze medal match, are also set for this week's event.

The pairs of Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli of Switzerland and Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller of Austria captured the women’s and men’s gold medals, respectively in Baden last weekend.

Austria, Baden, August 20-23, 2020, €5,000, FIVB women's event No. 430
1. Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli, Switzerland, €1,000
2. Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland, €700
3. Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider, Germany, €500
4. Karla Borger/Julia Sude, Germany, €400
Gold - Betschart/Huberli def, Heidrich/Verge-Depre, 2-0 (21-15, 3-1 retired) (22 minutes)
Bronze - Bieneck/Schneider def. Borger/Sude, 2-1 (21-16, 20-22, 15-13) (56) 

The Baden women's podium with Swiss and German players

Austria, Baden, August 20-23, 2020, €5,000, FIVB men's event No. 470
1. Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller, Austria, €1,000
2. Mirco Gerson/Adrian Heidrich, Switzerland, €700
3. Yves Haussener/Quentin Metral, Switzerland, €500
4. Jan Pokersnik/Nejc Zemljak, Slovenia, €400
Gold - Seidl/Waller def. Gerson/Heidrich, 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-11) (51)
Bronze - Haussener/Metral def. Pokersnik/Zemljak, 2-0 (25-23, 21-19) (42) 

The Baden men's podium with Swiss players sandwiching the Austrian winners

The FIVB schedule resumed at the end of July in Slovenia in Ljubljana (July 29- August 2) with teams from Italy (Andrea Abbiati/Tiziano Andreatta) and Denmark (Line Hansen/Clara Windeleff) topping the podiums.