COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 5, 2021) – The race toward Tokyo Olympic Games beach volleyball qualification reignites March 8-12 with the Katara Cup, a four-star tournament in Doha, Qatar.
USA Volleyball will field four teams each in the women’s and men’s events. Competing for the women are:
- Alix Klineman/April Ross – Second overall in Olympic Rankings; 8,760 qualifying points
- Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings – Fifth in Olympic Rankings; 6,960 points
- Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil – Eighth in Olympic Rankings; 6,640 points
- Emily Stockman/Kelley Kolinske – 10th in Olympic Rankings; 6,080 points
The American men in the Katara Cup field are:
- Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb – Eighth overall in Olympic Rankings; 6,680 points
- Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser – 18th in Olympic Rankings; 5,840 points
- Casey Patterson/Chase Budinger – 49th in Olympic Rankings, 2,600 points
- Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner – Unranked in Olympic Rankings, 0 points
The winners of the four-star Katara Cup will receive 800 points toward qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Points decrease by 80 for each of the top five spots and then by 80 points again at certain intervals.
The race for Olympic qualification is tight among the U.S. Beach National Teams. The two highest-ranked American duos in the Olympic Rankings will earn a berth in Tokyo if they’re within the top 15, which all four female Katara Cup pairs are. Klineman/Ross have an Olympic berth all but sewn up, but there’s a close race for the second U.S. berth between the three other pairs competing in Doha.
On the men’s side, Ta. Crabb/Gibb currently hold a qualifying spot. Lucena/Dalhausser could also hold one at the end of the tournament as they will have met the minimum of 12 tournaments played and an opportunity to pass the team of Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne, who are 11th in the Olympic Rankings with 6,360 points. Lucena/Dalhausser will need a fourth-place finish or better to erase the 520-point difference between them and Tr. Crabb/Bourne.
Tr. Crabb/Bourne competed In the United States’ country quota qualifier – four men’s teams competed for two spots in Doha – but Brunner/Schalk beat them in three sets for the Doha berth. Budinger/Patterson and Claes/Sponcil also qualified via the country quota qualifier. All three will compete in the Katara Cup qualification round.
Klineman/Ross, Sweat/Walsh Jennings, Stockman/Kolinske, Ta. Crabb/Gibb and Lucena/Dalhausser all advance straight to the tournament’s main draw.
The Katara Cup begins Monday, March 8 with the qualification round.