Of all the countries in the world that place beach volleyball both recreationally and professionally, Great Britain are seldom thought of as a force within the sport.
Ironically, there are no shortages of beaches in the UK and a trip to the seaside in the summer will often paint a picture of people immersed in playing beach volleyball.
However, participation numbers within the sport of playing beach volleyball are extremely low and the lack of organised provision within the country has always posed limitations to the growth of the sport. In addition, there are quite a few betting sites offering markets, odds and free bets on this sport.
In addition, the popularity of sports such as football, rugby and cricket often doesn’t give much room for other sports to muscle in and the lack of consistent weather in the UK does provide a serious barrier to beach volleyball participation.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham however, could yield a serious mark in the sand for beach volleyball in the UK though, with England securing their first ever medal in a major beach volleyball championship.
Twins Javier and Joaquin Bello cruised to a historic triumph as they won England’s first ever beach volleyball medal, defeating Rwanda in the play-offs.
Naysayers will of course point to the fact that the medal was bronze, with Australia and Canada reigning supreme once more but a medal in such an event is clear progress for English and British beach volleyball.
Stepping up to the 2024 Olympics will of course be a huge jump for any British team and whilst just qualifying for the event will be a huge stepping stone, medal success at the Commonwealth Games does beg the question as to how far the men’s team can go in Paris in 2024.
Norway are the reigning Olympic champions in the event, with Anders Mol and Christian Sorum proving too much for the field in Tokyo in 2020 and they will once again be the team to beat in 2024.
How Russia fare and the political situation in two years’ time remains to be seen but they are the reigning silver medallists in the men’s beach volleyball event and how they would love to go one better in Paris.
Relative surprise packages also did the business in Tokyo, with Qatar finishing in the bronze medal, ahead of Latvia in 4th – results that will give encouragement to team Great Britain coming into Paris 2024.
The usual suspects of Brazil, Germany and Italy always excel in the world of beach volleyball and they should also take some stopping in 2024, in what has become one of the most exciting and energising events of the modern Olympic Games.
Whether Great Britain will qualify for the men’s beach volleyball at the 2024 Olympics in Paris remains to be seen but should they do so, who knows how far they could go off the back of Team England’s Commonwealth Games success.