CEV, Luxembourg. Baden (Austria), Madrid (Spain) and Izmir (Turkey) will be hosting the three events scheduled for the second phase of the 2018-2020 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup, with competition due to take place between May 6-9, 2021. The CEV Board of Administration confirmed the three hosts, which were due to deliver the second stage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying event back in the spring of 2020 before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted all plans.
The second phase will feature teams from as many as 24 National Federations per gender, including the top eight nations from the European Ranking, which skipped the opening stage of the competition held back in 2019. Teams from eight countries will compete in each pool and battle for a spot in the final stage of the competition.
Introduced in the lead-up to the London 2012 Olympics, the Continental Cup has provided athletes and National Federations with an additional pathway to crown their dream of competing at the Olympics, the ultimate goal of any athlete. Back in 2016, Austria and the Netherlands emerged as the eventual winners of the competition for men and women, respectively, thus securing one quota spot for the Beach Volleyball competition of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
As with other competitions cancelled or postponed due to the global health crisis, the CEV decided to re-open the bidding process, keeping a priority right for those National Federations awarded the rights to host such events, should they decide to apply once again for their eventual delivery in 2021.
Baden is one of the most popular venues for international Beach Volleyball competitions, with Izmir slowly but surely claiming a spot on the map as well, especially after the successful delivery of U18 and U22 continental championships in September 2020. As for Madrid, a state-of-the-art Beach Volleyball centre will provide the ideal stage for the Continental Cup – 2nd Phase and a large number of aspiring Olympians.