2017-01-10 14:29:00 CET
Can Alison/Bruno start the season with yet more gold?
The first Major of the beach volleyball season is a party that nobody wants to miss!
An incredible 74 men’s teams want to be a part of all the action that kicks off on Fort Lauderdale Beach Park in February – and remember only 32 can make it through to the main draw!
Exactly which teams will make it through and which won’t remains a mystery, but we’re pretty sure that the Olympic gold and silver medalists from the Copacabana will be doing their thing on the glorious Florida sands as beach volleyball returns with a bang.
Rio champs Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt swept all before them last season and will be aiming to make it back-to-back victories in Fort Lauderdale following their 2015 Swatch World Tour Finals triumph. Meanwhile, Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo will be looking to continue from where they left off after a super 2016 season that also saw them lift the European Championship title.
Those two dynamic duos will be raring to go when the tournament gets under way on 7 February, but the provisional entry list shows 27 new partnerships are also aiming to make a name for themselves ahead of what promises to be an ever bigger and better season on the sand.
Among those are several new teams hailing from host nation USA, including Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb and Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner.
In a major #FTLMajor shock, 2016 Swatch World Tour Finals silver medalists and Rio Olympians Evandro/Pedro Solberg have split with both forming two new hugely exciting teams. Pedro Solberg teams up with up-and-coming star Guto – who we remember well following his silver medal performance at the A1 Major Klagenfurt. Big serving and big smiling Evandro will take to the sand with 22-year-old Andre who spent last season under the watchful eye of legend Ricardo.
In another surprise split, Polish pair Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel have gone their separate ways having enjoyed huge success together since they began playing in 2004. Fijalek will play with Michal Bryl and Prudel will partner Kacper Kujawiak.
But of course while there are plenty of new teams to run the rule over, some familiar faces remain together for 2017. Samoilovs/Smedins, Lucena/Dalhausser, Doppler/Horst, Hyden/Bourne, Saxton/Schalk and Herrera/Gavira are names all beach fans will know and love – and you’ll be pleased to know their names are on the provisional list for Fort Lauderdale!
Click here for all the list of teams – and prepare yourself for the full list of who makes it through coming very soon!
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