Lausanne, Switzerland, May 17, 2017 – Beach volleyball in Qatar has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past few years and events over recent weeks indicate the Gulf nation has no intention of slowing down its progress.
Leading the way have been Qatar’s top pair Jefferson Pereira and Cherif Younousse, who have already booked their place at the Vienna 2017, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships with victory at the Aspire Qatar Masters, part of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Beach Tour.
They also won gold in Thailand at the AVC’s Satun PakBara Masters.
Jefferson and Cherif first came to the beach volleyball world’s attention two years ago at the Netherlands 2015 World Championships when they reached the quarterfinals. Last year they made their Olympic debuts at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, where they reached the round of 16.
In between they won their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medals at the Kish Island Open in February 2016.
They train at the Qatar Volleyball Association’s facility at the Al Gharafa Sports Complex that hosted World Tour Opens in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The QVA recently signed an agreement with the FIVB to host a 2-Star single-gender event in 2018, with the possibility of it becoming at two-gender 3-star tournament in 2019 and 2020.
There is also a local league to help develop players further, while Argentine Mariano Baracetti was brought in a national team coach.
“I see a great future ahead for the sport in Qatar and I believe we’ll be a force to be reckoned with globally within a short time with the pace of growth and interest in beach volleyball,” said QVA beach volleyball commission head Mohammed Salem Al Kuwari.
“We already have three national teams. They should peak in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where a medal should be within our grasp.
“Our teams have high ambitions. We’ve many competitions at various levels. Perhaps the QVA is one of the earliest federations to conduct a beach volleyball league. The beach game is making its mark in Qatar.”