The Rio 2016 Olympic Games beach volleyball tournament will unfold at a sold-out stadium on Brazil’s iconic Copacabana Beach.
In each of the five Olympics that beach volleyball has been a medal sport, the venue has provided the tournament a stunning backdrop. That trend is set to continue at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from August 6-18 with the iconic Copacabana Beach - the spiritual home of the sport - set to welcome some of the world's top tandems.
A total of 24 teams in each gender from around the world are slated for participation in the sixth Olympic Games beach volleyball tournament. They will be competing in a purpose-built 12,000-seat stadium that was the first venue to be sold out for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Seventeen teams will qualify for the Games through the FIVB Olympic Ranking which is based primarily on FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour standings, with five more joining as winners of the AVC, CAVB, CEV, CSV and NORCECA Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Finals (the five FIVB Confederations) and the last two from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Continental Cup in Sochi, Russia.
The countries qualifying via the FIVB World Tour were finalized on June 13 while the FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Finals were completed in late June with the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Continental Cup tournament held from July 4-10.
Brazil has qualified two teams per gender already, one each as the host nation and one each as the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball world champions.
Held in four cities across the Netherlands last year with the medal matches in The Hague, earning Brazil’s first two country berths in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games were the men’s duo of Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt and the women’s tandem of Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas.
The teams in Rio will be split into six pools of four teams in each, playing each team in their group, with the top two advancing to the single-elimination knockout phase along with the two best third-placed teams. The remaining four third-place teams will then compete in playoff matches to determine which pairs fill the final two places in the 16-team elimination bracket’s first round.
In preparation for this year’s Rio Olympic Games, the FIVB held two World Tour Grand Slams at Copacabana Beach, one in September 2015 and the second one in March 2016.