THE COUNTDOWN TO THE PARIS OLYMPICS: 50 DAYS TO GO!

THE COUNTDOWN TO THE PARIS OLYMPICS: 50 DAYS TO GO!

The countdown is on! With exactly 50 days to go to the start of the Olympic Games in Paris, the anticipation of the volleyball and beach volleyball tournaments is growing, so let’s take a look at the latest thrilling updates on the qualification races and what fans can expect in the days ahead.

VOLLEYBALL

From 27 July to 11 August, the electrifying volleyball competition will unfold in Paris at the South Paris Arena to crown the 16th Olympic volleyball champions in each gender. 12 teams will take part in each of the two tournaments to be played at the South Paris Arena.

As usual, the host nation is automatically qualified to participate, which means that reigning men’s Olympic champions from Tokyo 2020, France will have the opportunity to defend their Olympic title cheered on by a passionate home crowd in Paris.

Another six teams per gender have already secured their spots at the Games through the FIVB Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifiers held in 2023. On the men’s side, the teams of Germany, the USA, Poland, Brazil, Japan and Canada have also booked their tickets to the Games.

France will be looking to defend their Olympic gold on home soil in Paris

Meanwhile, on the women’s side, the Dominican Republic, Türkiye, the USA, Serbia, Brazil and Poland have earned the right to compete at Paris 2024. Tokyo 2020 champions Team USA in particular will be looking to defend their first-ever Olympic title.

Team USA clinched their first ever women’s volleyball gold at Tokyo 2020

The final Olympic line-up will be officially completed with another five teams per gender, based on the FIVB Volleyball World Rankings for women and for men after the end of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2024 Preliminary Phase. Priority will be given to countries from continents that do not yet have teams qualified for the Games to guarantee the principle of universality.

In the Women’s VNL, the Preliminary Phase will end on 16 June, at which point the highest ranked Asian team and the highest ranked African team will book their tickets to Paris. The remaining three vacancies will be taken by the highest placed teams in the overall ranking without an Olympic berth yet.

A week later, on 23 June, the men’s Olympic line-up will be finalised with the top African team, as well as the four highest ranked squads in the general ranking that have not qualified yet. The competition pools will be defined on 19 June for women and 26 June for men.

The competition format for the Olympic volleyball tournament at Paris 2024

The Olympic volleyball tournaments at Paris 2024 will be conducted under a new competition formula. The competitions will begin with the preliminary phase, in which the 12 teams per gender will be divided into three pools (A, B and C) of four teams each. Every team will play against the three other teams in its pool. The top two teams from each pool and the two best third-placed teams will advance to the Final Phase. The Teams Combined Ranking System will be used to seed the teams in the Final Phase bracket which includes the quarterfinals, semifinals and then the finals. 

For the first time in the history of the Olympic volleyball competition, each participating team will be entitled to include one non-competing (AP) athlete to serve as a last-minute replacement, if an athlete is unable to compete due to injury or illness. This means that team rosters will increase from 12 to 13 athletes. The replaced athlete will not be allowed to compete for the remainder of the competition. The final Olympic team rosters will be confirmed on 8 July.

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BEACH VOLLEYBALL

 Mark your calendars for 27 July to 10 August, when the Paris 2024 Olympic tournaments will take centre stage at the Eiffel Tower Stadium. Nestled at the foot of the French capital’s most iconic landmark, the temporary 14,000 capacity venue is quickly taking shape as it prepares to welcome the world for a beach volleyball party like no other.

 It will be the eighth time beach volleyball has graced the Olympic programme, following the sport’s debut at the Atlanta 1996 Games. The formula for the beach volleyball tournament at Paris 2024 will remain the same as in Tokyo 2020.

A total of 24 teams per gender will compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, with a limit of two teams per gender per country. While the two teams (one per gender) to represent the host nation France are yet to be announced, only two duos have already officially qualified to compete at Paris 2024. These are 2023 Beach Volleyball World Champions Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner of Czechia for the men’s tournament, and Sara Hughes & Kelly Cheng of the USA on the women’s side.

The race for the remaining 17 vacancies per gender started at the beginning of 2023, and is about to climax this Sunday with the end of the last tournaments that bring in Olympic qualification points. The Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite16, in particular, is the only event at this point that can affect the qualifiers through the Olympic ranking, based on each pair’s best 12 performances in qualifying events between 1 January 2023 and 10 June 2024. While most of the teams earning Paris 2024 tickets through the ranking are mathematically clear, they will be officially confirmed with the final update of the Olympic ranking on Monday.

Among the teams that will be hoping to secure a ticket to the Games are Tokyo 2020’s champions Anders Mol & Christian Sørum from Norway. In Tokyo, the pair secured Norway’s first beach volleyball medal of any colour.

Mol & Sørum celebrate their Olympic gold in Tokyo

Meanwhile, Paris 2024 will go without Tokyo’s champions on the women’s side, with the USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman only recently back on the sand together after both stepping away from the sport to become mothers.

Ross & Klineman took gold at Tokyo 2020

Among the most exciting pending questions to be answered in Ostrava are those related to some internal races for the limited national quota, like those of Switzerland and Germany in the women’s competition and of the Netherlands and USA on the men’s side.

There will be five tickets per gender remaining after Monday. These will go to the winners of each of the five Continental Confederations’ final qualification events, set be held between 13 and 23 June.

It is important to note that, as a general principle, quota places are allocated to the respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and not directly to the athletes or teams, and the NOCs are entitled to select the eligible athletes to compete at Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Drawing of Lots will be held on 28 June at the Champ-de-Mars to establish the seeding and the distribution into pools for the Olympic event. The 24 qualified teams in each gender will be split into six single round-robin pools of four for the first stage of the Olympic tournament in Paris.

The six pool winners, the six pool runners-up and the two best ranked third-placed teams will enter the single-elimination playoffs that eventually lead to the medal matches on the last competition day directly from the playoff in the round of 16. The remaining four third-placed teams will battle in the ‘lucky loser’ round with the two winners to join the playoff in the round of 16. 

Stay tuned for more updates as we approach the grand opening of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The stage is set for a summer of incredible volleyball and beach volleyball action!

QUICK LINKS

AVC Website: click www.asianvolleyball.net

AVC Facebook: click www.Facebook.com/AsianVolleyballConfederation

AVC Twitter: click: www.twitter.com/AsianVolleyball

AVC Instagram: click: https://www.instagram.com/avcvolley/?hl=en

Mikasa Instagram: click: https://www.instagram.com/mikasasports_official

AVC Youtube: click: Asian Volleyball Confederation

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