Challenge - Goa, IND - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Tainá/Victoria (BRA) vs. Alix/Harward (USA) - Pool K #7320590

Reigning Olympic champion Alix Klineman with her new partner Hailey Harward

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Mexico are in full swing, but only four days after the 2023 world titleholders emerge, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour will be back to business as usual with another exciting high-level event. What makes it unusual and even more exciting is that the Goa Challenge from October 19 through 22 will be the first major world-level tournament held in India and the first time the fans in the southern Asian country will get to cheer on so many top-calibre beach volleyball stars, including a number of world champions and Olympic medallists.

  • Watch Beach Pro Tour Goa Challenge live on VBTV.

Leading the women’s pre-seeding on entry points are Esmee Bobner & Zoe Verge-Depre. One of Switzerland’s top pairs are having a good season so far. They have reached the semifinals at three of the four Challenge events they have taken part in this year and even claimed their first Beach Pro Tour medal, a Jurmala Challenge silver.

Next down the list is the pairing of Brazilian Olympians Agatha Bednarczuk & Rebecca Cavalcanti. Agatha is one of the most accomplished players on Tour. She was a world champion in 2015, a three-time FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season champion in 2015, 2018 and 2021, and an Olympic silver medallist at Rio 2016.

Agatha/Rebecca (BRA) vs. Ludwig/Lippmann (GER) - Round of 32 #7364977

Brazilian standout Agatha Bednarczuk in action at the World Championship in Mexico

The new team of reigning Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Alexandra Klineman of the United States is pre-seeded third for the Goa women’s main draw. Alix, who also won World Championship silver in 2019, is back from a long absence due to surgery and then a maternity leave, hoping to find her way to next year’s Olympics in Paris along with Hailey Harward.

There is plenty of stellar presence further down the list. 2019 world champion and World Tour season champion Sarah Pavan of Canada will compete alongside her current partner Molly McBain. 2013 World Championship silver medallist Karla Borger of Germany is coming to Goa with Sandra Ittlinger. Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medallists and 2020 European champions Joana Mader & Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland will play in India. So will this year’s CEV European Championship silver medallists Daniela Alvarez & Tania Moreno of Spain.

All of these teams are among the 16 seeded directly into the 24-team women’s main draw, while others, like 2022 World Championship runner-up Sophie Bukovec of Canada, along with Heather Bansley, three-time European Championship medallist Liliana Fernаndez of Spain, along with Paula Soria, or Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee & Taravadee Naraphornrapat, Asian Championship gold medallists in 2021 and silver medallists in 2023, will test their luck and skills in the qualification bracket that will fill up the remaining eight main draw vacancies.

Herrera/Gavira (ESP) vs. Barajas/Cruz (MEX) - Pool H #7326143

Spain’s Pablo Herrera in attack at Tlaxcala 2023

The men’s main draw pre-seeding is headlined by Czech stars Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner, who have already picked up two gold medals this season, both at the Elite16 level, in Uberlandia and just recently, earlier this month in Paris.

The list also features well-seasoned Spanish standouts Pablo Herrera & Adrian Gavira, 2013 European champions and two-time European Championship bronze medallists. While Gavira has played at three Olympic Games, his partner Herrera, an Athens 2004 silver medallist, is aiming at a record-high sixth Olympic appearance.

2017 World Championship silver medallist Alexander Horst of Austria and his current partner Julian Horl are also among the 16 teams seeded directly into the men’s main draw.

So are the current world’s number 10 team and reigning Asian champions Thomas Hodges & Zachery Schubert of Australia, the Brazilian pairing of 2015 World Championship bronze medallist and 2008 World Tour season champion Pedro Solberg with Gustavo Carvalhaes (Guto), the Polish pairing of 2021 European Championship bronze medallist Piotr Kantor with Jakub Zdybek and this year’s Asian Championship bronze medallists Pithak Tipjan & Poravid Taovato of Thailand.

The 32-team men’s qualification bracket also features an impressive line-up, including a couple of Olympic medallists. Rio 2016 runner-up and three-time Olympian Daniele Lupo will be there alongside another Italian Olympian, Enrico Rossi, while London 2012 bronze medallist and three-time Olympian Martins Plavins of Latvia will compete alongside rising 18-year-old star Kristians Fokerots.