Joana Mader, left, and Anouk Verge-Depre were left scrambling against the Canadians and out of Olympics contention/Volleyball World photo

It’s over.

At long last, after 17 months and nearly two dozen tournaments, the first and major leg of the Paris Olympic race is over, the last bid sealed up by Switzerland’s Zoe Verge-Depre and Esmee Bobner.

Their ticket was punched in an agonizing manner, watching from the sidelines as Tokyo bronze medalists Anouk Verge-Depre — the older sister of Zoe — and Joana Mader competed at the Ostrava Elite16, after Zoe and Bobner were eliminated in the qualifier by their very rivals. A winless performance in the main draw, when a semifinal berth was required, ended the run for Anouk and Mader, who fell in both matches on Friday, first to Barbora Hermannova and Marie-Sara Stochlova of the Czech Republic (21-19, 23-21) then to Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson (23-21, 21-15).

Esmee Bobner, left, and Zoe Verge-Depree during the Ostrava qualifier/Volleyball World photo

The remainder of the Olympic races were wrapped up during Wednesday’s qualifier.

Eighteen of the 24 spots per gender are now decided. Of the remaining six spots, five will be earned via continental cup events over the next few weeks, and France will award one wild card. Boding well for France is that its top women’s team, Lezana Placette and Alexia Richard, qualified via points, and will then get a second team into the Games via wild card. They are expected to announce their wild card teams June 17.

Below is a list of teams who have qualified for the Olympics

Men’s beach volleyball teams qualified for the Paris Olympics

World Championships berth: Ondrej Perusic, David Schweiner, CZECH REPUBLIC

  1. David Ahman, Jonatan Hellvig, SWEDEN
  2. Anders Mol, Christian Sorum, NORWAY
  3. Andre Loyola, George Wanderley, BRAZIL
  4. Nils Ehlers, Clemens Wickler, GERMANY
  5. Andy Benesh, Miles Partain, USA
  6. Evandro Goncalves, Arthur Mariano, BRAZIL
  7. Michal Bryl, Bartosz Losiak, POLAND
  8. Stefan Boermans, Yorick de Groot, NETHERLANDS
  9. Matthew Immers, Steven van de Velde, NETHERLANDS
  10. Sam Cottafava, Paolo Nicolai, ITALY
  11. Cherif Samba, Ahmed Tijan, QATAR
  12. Chase Budinger, Miles Evans, USA
  13. Adrian Gavira, Pablo Herrera, SPAIN
  14. Adrian Carambula, Alex Ranghieri, ITALY
  15. Thomas Hodges, Zachery Schubert, AUSTRALIA
  16. Jorge Alayo, Noslen Diaz, CUBA
  17. Julian Horl, Alex Horst, AUSTRIA

Women’s beach volleyball teams qualified for the Paris Olympics

World Championships berth: Kelly Cheng, Sara Hughes, USA

  1. Duda Lisboa, Ana Patricia Silva, BRAZIL
  2. Kristen Nuss, Taryn Kloth, USA
  3. Carolina Salgado, Barbara Seixas, BRAZIL
  4. Raisa Schoon, Katja Stam, NETHERLANDS
  5. Nina Brunner, Tanja Huberli, SWITZERLAND
  6. Melissa Humana-Paredes, Brandie Wilkerson, CANADA
  7. Xinyi Xia, Chen Xue, CHINA
  8. Tina Graudina, Anastasija Samoilova, LATVIA
  9. Valentina Gottardi, Marta Menegatti, ITALY
  10. Mariafe Artacho, Taliqua Clancy, AUSTRALIA
  11. Svenja Muller, Cinja Tillman, GERMANY
  12. Esmee Bobner, Zoe Verge-Depre, SWITZERLAND
  13. Daniela Alvarez, Tania Moreno, SPAIN
  14. Laura Ludwig, Louisa Lippmann, GERMANY
  15. Lezana Placette, Alexia Richard, FRANCE
  16. Monika Paulikiene, Aine Raupelyte, LITHUANIA
  17. Lili Fernandez, Paula Soria, SPAIN
Miles Partain cuts a shot past Nils Ehlers/Volleyball World photo

Three USA teams remain in the Ostrava Elite16

With the Olympic race decided, what’s left is a normal tournament with normal stakes on the line — prize money, entry points, wins and all the rest.

Three USA teams remain in the hunt of the Ostrava Elite16. As they have been since Thursday, Andy Benesh and Miles Partain are the lone American men, putting together consecutive wins over Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Jakub Zdybek (21-14, 21-10) and Germany’s Nils Ehlers and Clemens Wickler (21-17, 26-24). Friday marked their first career win over Germany, who is coming off a silver medal at the Espinho Elite16 two weeks ago.

The remaining American teams, Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes, and Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles, will play one another in the first round of the playoffs. The last meeting between the two teams actually came in Ostrava a year ago, during the final round of pool play, where Cheng and Hughes won easily, 21-13, 21-11. Saturday will mark the fifth matchup between the two, a series Hughes and Cheng lead 4-0.


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