Challenge - Chiang Mai, THA - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Immers/van de Velde (NED) vs. Evans/Budinger (USA) - Semifinals #8200091

Steven van de Velde blocks a shot from Miles Evans during the Chiang Mai semifinal

After making it to the men’s podium at last week’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Chiang Mai Challenge in Thailand, both winners Steven van de Velde & Matthew Immers of the Netherlands and bronze medallists Chase Budinger & Miles Evans of the United States climbed up among the top 20 of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Ranking for the first time. Meanwhile, women’s gold medallists Agatha Bednarczuk & Rebecca Cavalcanti of Brazil also reached a new high on their journey as a partnership, rising to number 15.

Immers & Van de Velde picked up 800 points with their first place in Chiang Mai, while dropping 340 points with their new ninth best result, and net-gained 460 towards a total of 5,160 that propelled them seven positions up to number 18. Each of the two Dutchmen has been higher in the World Ranking with different partners, but this is the first time they make it among the top 20 together since they joined forces at the beginning of this season.

Evans & Budinger netted 380 of the 720 points that came with their second consecutive Challenge podium (two weeks earlier, the Americans triumphed in Haikou) and improved to a new total of 4,900 points, enough to catch up with Chile’s Marco Grimalt & Esteban Grimalt into the 20th place of the World Ranking, moving six spots up from their previous best as a team.

Chiang Mai runners-up Piotr Kantor & Jakub Zdybek of Poland also reached a new high along their path as a duo. They pocketed 460 of the 760 silver medal points and climbed from number 32 to number 27 on a new total of 4,540 points.

Fourth-placed Izac Carracher & Mark Nicolaidis of Australia moved two spots up, from number 33 to number 31.

The highest leap in the chart among the fifth-placed teams in the men’s tournament was achieved by Germany’s Lukas Pfretzschner & Sven Winter, who jumped 35 positions up from number 108 and, after only four events played as a pair, reached number 73. Lithuania’s Patrikas Stankevicius & Audrius Knasas climbed from number 43 to number 36, Switzerland’s Marco Krattiger & Florian Breer ascended from number 39 to number 35, while Austria’s Julian Horl & Alexander Horst stayed put in number 19.

Agatha & Rebecca, who won the women’s tournament in Thailand and net-gained 340 of the 800 points earned towards a new total of 5,200, climbed three positions up from number 18 and made it to the top 15 for the first time since they started competing together this year.

All of the other teams among the women’s top eight in Chiang Mai also gained in the World Ranking.

Silver medallists Taru Lahti-Liukkonen & Niina Ahtiainen of Finland surged four positions up to number 24, while bronze medallists Sarah Pavan & Molly McBain of Canada shifted five spots up to number 29. China’s Dong Jie & Wang Fan, who finished fourth, also gained four positions and rose to number 34.

Among the other four teams that reached the women’s quarterfinals in Thailand, Spain’s Belen Carro & Angela Lobato jumped seven spots up to number 42, while their compatriots Daniela Alvarez & Tania Moreno, Germany’s Karla Borger & Sandra Ittlinger and France’s Aline Chamereau & Clemence Vieira ascended three positions each to number 19, number 24 and number 39, respectively.