The second edition of the Tour will return to some iconic venues and see beach volleyball visit exciting new locations
The Doha Elite16 tournament got the second season of the Beach Pro Tour officially underway just three days after the previous successful inaugural season was brought to a close in the Qatari capital. The best international beach volleyball players started the fierce battle for valuable points at the Doha Elite16 with the 2023 edition of the Tour set to play a key role in the Olympic qualification race for Paris 2024.
In addition to the season opener of Beach Pro Tour 2023, Doha is also set to host the closing event, the 2023 Beach Pro Tour Finals in December. It will be the second consecutive time the Finals will visit Qatar, after the Gulf country delivered an excellent first tournament in January.
A look at the podiums at the Doha Finals would probably unveil some of the teams expected to play a leading role on the road to Paris 2024. In the women’s competition, the recently reunited American pair of Kelly Cheng & Sara Hughes topped the standings, which meant they took three gold medals out of their first three appearances on Tour. Another reunited duo, 2014 Youth Olympic champions Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) & Ana Patricia Ramos of Brazil, who joined forces again for the start of the 2022 season, went on to win the 2022 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in Rome and finished the year as the number one team in the FIVB World Ranking, had to settle for silver at the Tour Finals. The bronze went to one of the most consistent women’s teams in 2022, Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands.
Norway’s Anders Mol & Christian Sorum became the first-ever Beach Pro Tour champions on the men’s side, adding to their titles of incumbent world and Olympic champions and consolidating their status as the number one team in the world. The other team that managed to take as many gold medals (four) during the first Beach Pro Tour season as the Beachvolley Vikings, Poland’s Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak, earned the silver medals at the Doha Finals. The bronze went to the Italian pairing of experienced three-time Olympian Paolo Nicolai and 24-year-old talent Samuele Cottafava.
Mol & Sorum started the Beach Pro Tour 2023 season with a hard-fought three-set win over Nicolai & Cottafava in Doha
With its top-tier tournaments, the Elite16 category, the Beach Pro Tour 2023 will return to Uberlandia in Brazil in late April, to one of the most unique beach volleyball venues, the industrial heritage site in the Czech city of Ostrava in May and June, to what is widely regarded as the most picturesque beach volleyball location in Gstaad, Switzerland in July, to Germany’s beach volleyball capital Hamburg in August, and to the iconic Roland Garros in Paris in September and October.
The Tour will also revisit Dubai, where a Challenge tournament was held in 2022. This year, November’s tournament in the UAE city will be upgraded to Elite16. Australia, which hosted the last Elite16 event in 2022 in Torquay, will welcome another one in late November at a venue yet to be announced. Tepic in Mexico is one of the new locations in the plans for 2023 with the second Elite16 stop to be held in March, after the North American country organised the first-ever Elite16 tournament last year in Rosarito.
Within the ironworks of the Lower Vitkovice industrial heritage site in Ostrava
Canada is unchartered territory for the Beach Pro Tour, but that will change in 2023, as Montreal hosts an Elite16 event in late July, the week after Edmonton breaks new ground with a Challenge tournament.
The Challenge calendar in 2023 will open with a tournament in Mexico, just like it did in 2022 with the first-ever Beach Pro Tour event in Tlaxcala. This year, the city of La Paz on Baja California’s east coast will welcome the Tour in March, while Tlaxcala is set to play host to the World Championships in October.
The Latvian city of Jurmala that hosted an Elite16 tournament last year will organize a Challenge event in June. The Tour will also return with Challenge stops in Itapema, Brazil in April, in Espinho, Portugal in July and in the Maldives in October. In fact, Brazil will host the beach volleyball elite for three weeks in a row in April. Between the Itapema Challenge and the Uberlandia Elite16, the South American country will organise yet another Challenge tournament in Saquarema.
Duda & Ana Patricia celebrate at Uberlandia Elite16 2022
The Philippines hosted a Futures event in Subic Bay last year. This year, they will upgrade to a Challenge tournament at a venue to be decided. China will play host to the Beach Pro Tour for the first time with August’s Futures event in Qidong and November’s Challenge in Hainan.
As in 2022, the 2023 calendar will offer plenty of tournaments in the third-tier Futures category. The first one is scheduled in March and will bring the Beach Pro Tour to New Zealand for the first time. Futures events will also break new ground in French Polynesia, Vietnam and Burundi and return to Australia, Thailand, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Belgium, Poland and Austria.
Volleyball World and the FIVB are in ongoing negotiations with potential organisers to bring Beach Pro Tour events to even more places around the globe, and further stops will be announced during the course of the season.
Beach Pro Tour 2023 event schedule
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