World's top teams set for Cancun Hub events

Mexico hosts three-straight weeks of Olympic qualifying action

With the reigning Yucatan Peninsula champions in the field, Cancun becomes the first site in the 35-season history of the international beach volleyball circuit to host three consecutive weekends of play featuring Olympic qualifications for the Tokyo Summer Games.

Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar/Taliqua Clancy and Americans Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb captured the last women’s and men’s gold medals when the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour visited the Yucatan Peninsula for a November 2019 event in Chetumal where the winners defeated pairs from China and the Netherlands, respectively.

The Cancun series will help satisfy Artacho del Solar and Clancy’s requirement for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics by playing in at least 12 FIVB-recognised events. The Australians have won more World Tour gold medals than any other team from their country with six titles, 11 podium placements and 12 final four finishes together in 21 World Tour starts.

The Cancun hub series is scheduled for April 16-20, April 22-26 and April 28-May 2 at the Caribbean Sea site known for its beaches and numerous resorts.

With Mexico hosting its eighth, ninth and 10th men’s and ninth, 10th and 11th women’s World Tour events, the NORCECA country becomes the first nation to host a trio of double-gender FIVB tournaments on consecutive weekends at the same site. In 2016, Brazil staged three double-gender events in a four-week period. Iran hosted the Caspian Sea Series in October 2018 with three straight men's-only events at Bandar Torkaman, Babolsar and Bandar Anzali.

With total prize money of US$900,000 for the three hub events, the event will be staged at the Grand Oasis Hotel Cancun. The men’s and women’s medal matches are scheduled for April 20, April 26 and May 2.

The United States teams are led by Crabb/Gibb in the men’s division and Alix Klineman/April Ross in the women’s flight.

While Crabb and Gibb placed third in the last FIVB World Tour event in Qatar in mid-March by defeating compatriots Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the bronze medal match, Klineman and Ross captured the gold medal by defeating Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan in the Doha finale.

Cancun entry Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner of the Czech Republic captured the Doha men’s crown by defeating Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes and Evandro Goncalves of Brazil in the March 12 gold medal match. Guto was replacing Bruno Oscar Schmidt as Evandro’s partner in Doha.

After missing Doha due to Covid-related issues, Bruno returns as Evandro’s partner for the Cancun series. Guto will play with Arthur Da Silva in the Mexican events with Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa being the top Brazilian women’s pair for Cancun after placing third in Qatar.

Host Mexico are led by the men’s pairs of Josue Gaxiola/Jose Rubio and Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen. Silver medal winners at the 2016 FIVB Under-21 World Championships in Switzerland, Gaxiola and Rubio were the last Mexican team to place on a World Tour podium with a silver medal at the 2020 Doha event.

Doha 2020 silver medal winners Josue Gaxiola (left) and Julio Rubio of Mexico

Rio 2016 Olympic participants and ninth-place finishers on Copacabana, Ontiveros and Virgen have placed on six World Tour podiums in their career together with the first being at a 2014 Mexican event in Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Ocean side of the country.

2014 FIVB Puerto Vallarta bronze medal winners Juan Virgen (left) and Lombardo Ontiveros of Mexico

Cancun Hub 1st event - Men's entry list
Cancun Hub 1st event - Women's entry list

Quick links:
Cancun Hub - 1st event
Cancun Hub - 2nd event
Cancun Hub - 3rd event
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

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