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Mol Sørum Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite16-min

The Beach Volley Vikings won two of their first three matches in Ostrava

Back on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour after a three-month absence, Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum are among the four men’s teams that advanced to the quarterfinals of this week’s Ostrava Elite16 event.

The Czech sand is undoubtedly familiar territory for the Norwegians, who won three of the five international tournaments held in the city to date, including in the last two years.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite16 matches live on VBTV

The Olympic champions took third at the season-opening Doha Elite16, in March, and then missed the last three months of Beach Pro Tour action due to a broken bone on Mol's left foot, which required him to undergo surgery back in March.

After ending the first day of pool play in the Ostrava Elite16 with a win and a loss, the Norwegians got a forfeit victory over French Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat on Friday and finished first in Pool C, advancing directly to the quarterfinals.

Their opponents in the quarterfinals of the Ostrava Elite16, which will be held on Saturday, will come from the Round of 12 duel involving Czechs Jakub Sepka and Jiri Sedlak and Dutch Matthew Immers and Steve van de Velde.

Besides the Norwegians, also topped their pools in Ostrava Italy’s Paolo Nicolai/Samuele Cottafava, Sweden’s David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig and the Netherlands’ Stefan Boermans/Yorick de Groot.

The other three Round of 12 duels will have Qatar’s Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan vs. USA’s Andy Benesh/Miles Partain, Brazil’s Evandro Gonçalves/Arthur Lanci vs. Lukas Pfretzschner/Sven Winter and Germany’s Nils Ehlers/Clemens Wickler vs. Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner.

Ostrava Elite16 – Match Schedule and Results

The Round of 12 will start at 9:00 local time (7:00 GMT) on Saturday, with the first quarterfinals scheduled for 14:00 local time (12:00 GMT). The semifinals and medal matches will take place on Sunday.

Melissa and Brandie perfect in pool play

On the women’s side, Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson were the best team in pool play, winning all their three Pool D matches in straight sets. Two of these wins were on Friday, when the Olympians topped Dutch Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) and Swiss Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré also 2-0 (23-21, 21-15).

The two advanced directly to the quarterfinals in Ostrava, just like the other three pool winners – Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Anastasija Samoilova, Switzerland’s Tanja Hüberli/Nina Brunner and Germany’s Svenja Müller/Cinja Tillmann.

These four teams will need to wait for the conclusion of the four Round of 12 matches – Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Louisa Lippman vs. Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Valentina Gottardi, Brazil’s Bárbara Seixas/Carol Salgado vs. Schoon/Stam, Brazil’s Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa/Ana Patrícia Ramos vs. Czechia’s Barbora Hermannová/Marie-Sára Štochlová and USA’s Kelly Cheng/Sara Hughes vs. USA’s Julia Scoles/Betsi Flint -, involving teams that were second and third in their pools, to know their next opponents.

Hermannova Stochlova Czechia Beach Pro Tour Ostrava-min

Home heroes Hermannová and Štochlová advanced to the elimination rounds

Zoé and Esmée take the last Olympic spot

Even though they didn’t get on the court on Friday in Ostrava after being eliminated in Wednesday’s qualifier, Swiss Zoé Vergé-Dépré and Esmée Böbner had great reason to celebrate as they secured the last spot at the Paris 2024 Games available via the FIVB Olympic Rankings.

Their tickets to the French capital were booked when compatriots Mäder and Vergé-Dépré lost to Canadians Melissa and Brandie, were eliminated from the tournament and saw their chances of surpassing Zoé and Esmée be extinguished – they needed to make it to the semifinals to qualify.

Now, only five spots per gender at the Paris Olympics continue to be available, all of which will be assigned over the next two weeks, during the continental qualifiers. Teams that already qualified two teams of the same gender, like Switzerland, cannot participate.

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