Elite16 - Brasilia-DF, BRA - 2024 - Beach Pro Tour 2024 season - News

Esmée/Zoé (SUI) vs. Agatha/Rebecca (BRA) - Quarterfinals #14858360

Zoé and Esmée knocked two world champions out in the elimination rounds on Saturday

Swiss up-and-comers Esmée Böbner and Zoé Vergé-Dépré are set to score a major result on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour in a critical moment of the qualification period for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

After coming from the qualifier, the Europeans survived the fourth day of competition in Brasília and advanced to the semifinals of the Elite16 event held in the Brazilian capital on Saturday.

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Zoé and Esmée will face Americans Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss in the first semifinal of the tournament, on Sunday, at 9:00 local time (12:00 UTC), while Brazilians Ana Patrícia Ramos and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa will meet Dutch Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam one hour later for the second spot in the gold medal match.

Their first semifinal appearance in an Elite16 event will have a major impact on the Swiss’ aspirations of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Zoé and Esmée started the Brasília Elite16 with 7,360 points in the FIVB Olympic Rankings, an amount that should be enough to get them inside the qualification zone, but as the third-best Swiss duo in the list, they were looking from the outside.

That will change after Brasília as, with at least 900 points guaranteed in the event, the two have not only passed compatriots Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré, but also built a 360-point lead over their rivals with just a few tournaments left in the qualification period.

The Swiss had the toughest day among the four semifinalists on Saturday, having to win two matches to advance. In the Round of 12, the Europeans topped Canadian Olympians Brandie Wilkerson and Melissa Humana-Paredes 2-1 (18-21, 25-23, 15-10). In the quarterfinals, they needed only two sets (21-18, 21-16) to down Brazilians Ágatha Bednarczuk and Rebecca Cavalcanti.

Brasília Elite16 – Match Schedule and Results

Their opponents Kloth and Nuss played just once and prevailed over China’s Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia in two sets (21-13, 21-13). The other two quarterfinal duels had Duda and Ana Patrícia beating world champions Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng of the United States in straight sets (21-19, 21-15) and Schoon and Stam defeating Brazilian veterans Bárbara Seixas and Carol Salgado in the tie-breaker (18-21, 21-19, 15-13).

Immers and van de Velde keep the Dutch race open

The semifinals and medal rounds of the men’s event in Brazil will also have big implications in the Olympic race, especially between Dutch teams, with the presence of Steven van de Velde and Matthew Immers in the Final Four.

The two entered the tournament as the second-best Dutch duo in the Olympic Rankings with 7,620, but taking heavy pressure from compatriots Stefan Boermans, who had 7,400. While they’re still likely to be passed by their opponents in the next update, the at least 900 point they will earn in Brasília will keep them very much alive in the Olympic race.

The Dutch will face Germans Nils Ehlers and Clemens Wickler in the semifinals, at 11:00 local time (14:00 UTC). The other side of the bracket has an all-Brazilian encounter between Andre Loyola/George Wanderley and Evandro Gonçalves/Arthur Lanci, scheduled for 12:00 local time (15:00 UTC).

Brouwer/Meeuwsen (NED) vs. van de Velde/Immers (NED) - Quarterfinals #14858964

Van de Velde blocks in the all-Dutch quarterfinal against Brouwer and Meeuwsen

On Saturday, van de Velde and Immers won their only match of the day, in the quarterfinals, against fellow Dutch Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, who lead the country’s three-way battle for Paris 2024 with 8,300 points, in straight sets (21-16, 21-17).

Their opponents Ehlers and Wickler advanced with a two-set (21-14, 23-21) win over Americans Chase Budinger and Miles Evans. Evandro and Arthur defeated Americans Andy Benesh and Miles Partain in the tie-breaker (21-15, 18-21, 15-9), while Andre and George had to play twice, overcoming Chileans Marco and Esteban Grimalt 2-1 (19-21, 22-20, 15-12) in the Round of 12 and taking the quarterfinal match against Qataris Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan by forfeit.

The women’s final in Brasília will start at 18:00 local time (21:00 UTC) on Sunday, with the men’s gold medal match beginning one hour later.

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