Olympics: Beach Volleyball Pools

Canadian duo Binstock/Reader (in blue) will play in pool F against Brazil, Norway, and Great Britain (Photo: Volleyball Source Magazine)

The men and women beach volleyball teams finally know their opponents in pool play at the London Games. This Thursday in Klagenfurt, Austria, The FIVB broadcast the drawing of lots to determine the six groups of each tournament. With the pools finalized, the schedule for pool play will be released by FIVB on Monday.

The teams were split equally into six pools, playing each team in their group, with the top two advancing to the single-elimination knockout phase along with the two best third-placed teams. The remaining four third-place teams will then compete in playoff matches to determine which pairs will fill the final two places in the first round.

Canadians Josh Binstock and Martin Reader will play favourites Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos, from Brazil, in pool F (Santos is a three-time Olympic medalist, having won gold in Athens 2004 playing with Emanuel Rego). The group is completed by John Garcia-Thompson and Steven Grotowski, from Great Britain, and Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr, from Norway.

Canada will be represented on the women’s side by Marie-Andree Lessard and Annie Martin, who will play Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin, from Great Britain, Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti, from Italy, and also the Russian team with Ekaterina Khomyakova and Evgenia Ukolova, in pool F. The Italians are one of the world’s top teams.

Sixteen teams have qualified for the Games through the Olympic Ranking, with five more joining as winners of the AVC, CAVB, CEV, CSV and NORCECA Continental Cup Finals and two from the World Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament. Great Britain has also been granted a berth as hosts.

Following are the pool assignments for the beach volleyball competition at the 2012 Olympic Games:

London 2012 Beach Volleyball Men's Pools

Pool A

Brazil Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, Brazil
Switzerland Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher, Switzerland
Italy Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy
Austria Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, Austria

Pool B

USA Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers, United States
Spain Adrian Gavira Collado/Pablo Herrera, Spain
Czech Republic Petr Benes/Presysl Kubala, Czech Republic
Japan Kentaro Asahi/Katsuhiro Shiratori, Japan

Pool C

Germany Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann, Germany
China Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu, China
Switzerland Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer, Switzerland
Russia Serguei Prokopiev/Konstantin Semonov, Russia

Pool D

USA Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal, United States
Poland Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, Poland
Latvia Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Ruslans Sorokins, Latvia
South Africa Freedom Chiya/Grant Goldschmit, South Africa

Pool E

Netherlands Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil, Netherlands
Germany Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Germany
Latvia Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins, Latvia
Venezuela Igor Hernandez/Jesus Villafane, Venezuela

Pool F

United Kingdom John Garcia-Thompson/Steven Grotowski, Great Britain
Brazil Pedro Cunha/Ricardo Santos, Brazil
Norway Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr, Norway
Canada Josh Binstock/Martin Reader, Canada

London 2012 Beach Volleyball Women's Pools

Pool A

Brazil Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca, Brazil
Germany Katrin Hloltwick/Ilka Semmler, Germany
Czech Republic Lenka Hajeckova/Hana Klapalova, Czech Republic
Mauritius Natacha Rigobert/Elodie Li Yuk Lo, Mauritius

Pool B

China Chen Xue/Xi Zhang, China
Switzerland Simone Kuhn/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland
Greece Vasiliki Arvaniti/Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece
Russia Anastasia Vasina/Anna Vozakova, Russia

Pool C

USA Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh, United States
Czech Republic Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova, Czech Republic
Austria Doris Schwaiger/Stefanie Schwaiger, Austria
Australia Natalie Cook/Tamsin Hinchley, Australia

Pool D

USA Jennifer Kessy/April Ross, United States
Netherlands Sanne Keizer/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands
Spain Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, Spain
Argentina Ana Gallay/Maria Zonta, Argentina

Pool E

Brazil Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes, Brazil
Germany Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig, Germany
Australia Louise Bawden/Becchara Palmer, Australia
Netherlands Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel, Netherlands

Pool F

United Kingdom Zara Dampney/Shauna Mullin, Great Britain
Italy Greta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti, Italy
Russia Ekaterina Khomyakova/Evgenia Ukolova, Russia
Canada Marie-Andree Lessard/Annie Martin, Canada