Montpellier, France, September 6, 2017 – The 2018 season of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is about to get underway with a men’s one-star tournament scheduled to take place in Montpellier, France from September 7 through 9, 2017.
The first World Tour event ever to take place in the third-largest city on France’s southern coastline has already attracted huge interest from the athletes. As many as 45 duos from 24 different countries have signed up for the tournament.
Twelve teams will start their participation directly in the 16-team main draw on Friday, with two Norwegian pairs leading the line-up. 20-year-old Anders Berntsen Mol and 21-year-old Christian Sandlie Sorum arrive in Montpellier as the gold medal winners at the CEV Ljubljana Masters in July. About a year ago they triumphed as the U22 European Champions.
Mol’s cousin, 21-year-old Mathias Berntsen, will be partnering with Svein Oddmund Solhaug for the event in Montpelier. As a pair, the two Berntsen cousins took silver at the 2017 CEV U22 European Championship and gold at the U20 European Championship two years earlier. They took bronze at the last World Tour event before the 2017 Finals – the two-star tournament in Espinho, where Sorum and Solhaug took part as partners and finished fourth.
The third best ranked team in the main draw line-up for Montpellier are England’s Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf. They ended up ninth in Espinho – their best ever finish on the FIVB World Tour.
Coming fourth is the best ranked home team - Youssef Krou and Quincy Aye. The French duo won gold at the previous one-star event on the World Tour, the Agadir tournament in July. In August, Krou and Aye added another international gold to their success story this season – at the CEV Satellite in Yantarny.
Three more pairs from France and one each from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, Italy and Japan complete the list. Four more duos will emerge from the qualification tournament to fill in the remaining vacancies in the 16-team single-elimination main draw bracket.
A total of 16 teams will play two qualification rounds on Thursday to determine which four will stay in contention for Montpellier’s first World Tour honours. The first two main draw rounds will take place on Friday from 9.00 to 20.00 local time. The semifinals, the match for third place and the final are scheduled for Saturday afternoon.