Most sports fans know, as the slots for the Olympic qualifiers fill in, the competition will begin to heat up. The London Olympics are just weeks away, so there is no hotter contest than men’s and women’s beach volleyball. Within this sport, the contest everyone will have his or her eye on is the Continental Cup Olympic qualifying tournament happening in Mazatlan, Mexico.
This international match is very important, as the winners of the men’s and women’s Continental Cup Olympic qualifying tournament earn a berth for the 2012 London Games. The second and third place teams will head to Moscow for a last chance Olympic qualifying event. Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico will field two pairs apiece in both the men’s and women’s competition.
Fresh off their gold-medal victory at the 2012 Toluca Beach Volleyball Tournament, Mexico’s Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros are the early favorites and will have home court advantage, so expect a solid performance from the duo. Also, taking full advantage of the familiar conditions will be fellow Mexicans Virgen and Ontiveros who also claimed gold-ware at Toluca in the women’s division. Virgen and Ontiveros gave a convincing performance throughout the tournament and are sure to be tough competition at Continental Cup.
There are many intangibles that make this Mexican beach volleyball squad great, yet many point to the chemistry between them, which helped them to maintain their dominance. These two teams took on tough teams in earlier in the year, but always finished on the winning side.
In this upcoming tournament, only one team from each of the five FIVB confederations will qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the second and third placed teams will go to the FIVB World Cup Olympic Qualification tournament to playoff for two more Olympic vacancies.