England Men’s team announced for Beach Continental Cup
30th April 2021
Beach volleyball pairs Javier Bello & Joaquin Bello and Freddie Bialokoz & Issa Batrane will represent England at the CEV Continental Cup in Turkey next week.
The Continental Cup is a qualification route for the Tokyo Olympics and as the final stages are exclusively for teams who have not already secured their place, it presents a huge opportunity.
Both teams will travel to Izmir, Turkey, for the competition, which takes place between 6th-9th May.
Luis Bello, Head Coach for the England Senior Men's Beach Volleyball Team, said: “We are delighted with the team we have selected for the Continental Cup.
"Javier and Joaquin are only 20 but they have already achieved so much with their Commonwealth Youth Games gold medal and historic bronze medal for England on the FIVB World Tour. In recent weeks, they have really shown what they are capable of with some great performances on the World Tour in Mexico.
“Issa and Freddie are another talented pair that are getting better and better all of the time. Individually they have come through our Talent Pathway to represent England on the international stage. Issa notably partnered with Chris Gregory to help secure England’s spot in this round of the Continental Cup. And together they have had some eye-catching performances on the UK Beach Tour.
“I must say thank you to the athletes for following the meticulous elite athlete protocols and to all of the volunteers, particularly Ben Pipes, Karen Beattie, Nicky Osborne and Phil Smith, who have worked so hard behind the scenes to get us to this stage.
“We are really looking forward to returning to international competition and showing the rest of Europe what we are made of.”
Continental Cup format
The country vs country competition is staged in three phases. The first took place in various locations in May 2019. On home soil, England Men secured second place in their pool but, unfortunately, England Women were eliminated from the tournament.
The second phase takes place in three different locations in May 2021. And the third stage is set for in The Hague, The Netherlands, in June 2021.
The winning country from that final competition will qualify for the beach volleyball tournament at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Qualifying countries are represented by two pairs, competing together as one team, at each stage, with ties decided by a best-of-three format. A country’s first team plays another country’s second, and if the tie is level after two matches the contest will be decided by a golden match. This has the added spice that the national team coach can pick any two of their four players to compete in the decisive match.