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23 September 2012
Anaheim, USA, September 21, 2012 – The beach volleyball Continental Cup, a series of qualification tournaments towards the 2012 London Olympic Games, allowed the participation of almost 150 national federations in the past two years.
“The Continental Cup was a complete success and only in Africa we had 40 countries taking part of it,” Dr Ary Graca, president of the Beach Volleyball Council, said on Friday morning while presenting a complete report of the discipline activities for the past two years to the FIVB World Congress in Anaheim, USA. “It was created as a tool of development for the future, but we must say that the future is now.”
Five continental champions of each gender booked tickets to the London Games and then the World Cup in Moscow, Russia granted two more vacancies per gender to teams not already qualified. “Then in London we enjoyed the best of all venues with the beach volleyball tournament taking place at Horse Guards Parade, next to the Buckingham Palace,” Graca said. “It was a great for beach volleyball.”
Angelo Squeo, FIVB director of beach volleyball reported on the FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships in Uma, Croatia in 2011, the FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus and Halifax, Canada respectively in 2012 and also the FIVB SWATCH Beach Volleyball World Tour for the past two years.
Players from 29 countries competed in the event held in Croatia while players from 34 and 26 nations played in Cyprus and Halifax.
An average of 500,000 spectators per year enjoyed the action of the World Tour and the plan for next year is to increase to 10 Grand Slam events and to lower the requirements for the organization of Open events in order to expand the possibilities to host competitions.
“I am also pleased to announce that during the season, one week per month will be reserved for the continental confederations to organize their own events and thus giving them the chance to have their best players competing in the regional circuits,” Squeo said.
The representatives of the Beach Volleyball Commission also reported on the Youth Olympic Games of 2014 where beach volleyball is included in the competition programme.
“The IOC has decided to include beach volleyball for the first time in the 2014 YOG to be held in Nanjing, China,” commission’s president Vicente Araujo said. “This provides a fantastic opportunity to further develop beach volleyball and build a new generation for the future.”
The YOG will see 144 beach volleyball players (36 men’s and 36 women’s pairs) born between January 1st of 1996 and December 31st of 1999 competing for the medals.
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