Baku, Azerbaijan, February 17, 2015. The national quotas for the Baku 2015 European Games beach volleyball competition have been revealed following the close of the sport’s 2014 event calendar, and the concerned NOCs’ confirmation of the allocated spots.
Beach volleyball participants at Baku 2015 are as follows (number of teams in brackets):
Men: Austria (2), Azerbaijan (2), Belarus (1), Czech Republic (1), Denmark (1), Estonia (1), France (2), Germany (2), Great Britain (1), Greece (1), Israel (1), Italy (2), Latvia (2), Netherlands (1), Norway (2), Poland (2), Russia (2), Spain (2), Switzerland (2) and Turkey (2);
Women: Austria (2), Azerbaijan (2), Czech Republic (2), Finland (2), France (2), Germany (2) Greece (1), Italy (2), Lithuania (1), Netherlands (2), Norway (1), Poland (2), Russia (2), Slovakia (1), Spain (2), Sweden (2), Switzerland (2) and Ukraine (2).
As the host country, Azerbaijan will be represented by two men’s and two women’s pairs. All other qualification for Baku 2015 is determined by the European rankings, with a maximum of two duos per gender from any one country. A total of 25 different countries will be represented in Baku across the men’s and women’s competitions.
Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: “Beach volleyball is a modern Olympic discipline gaining more and more in popularity every year, making it a perfect fit for the first European Games. Our aim at Baku 2015 is to inspire young Europeans and bring the continent together in a great celebration of sport.”
Europe is building a fine pedigree in beach volleyball at multi-sport events, with Germany and Latvia winning the men’s gold and bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games, respectively.
Pierce O’Callaghan, Director of Sport at Baku 2015, said: “The European Games will allow beach volleyball to gain new fans in Azerbaijan and across Europe. I am sure that the sport will be a major attraction at Baku 2015.”
André Meyer, President of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), said: “The European Volleyball Confederation welcomes the announcement of the beach volleyball teams qualified for Baku 2015, and we look forward to what will be a fantastic celebration of sport this summer.”
Beach volleyball teams taking part in the Baku 2015 competition will earn ranking points towards qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which will make the competition all the more intense.
A total of 64 duos will compete across the men’s and women’s beach volleyball competitions which take place from 16 through 21 June.
Photo: Iuliia Karimova & Raquel Goncalves Ferreira were one of the duos representing Azerbaijan at last year’s inaugural Baku Masters tournament of the 2014 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship