George/Andre triumph on home turf

02.04.2024 - Saquarema

After the recent tournament in Recife, the second Challenge event in a row took place on Brazilian ground. Over the Easter weekend, George/Andre topped the men’s competition in front of the home crowd in Saquarema. The women’s competition was dominated by the Chinese duo Xue/Xia.

Topping the men’s podium in Saquarema were home duo George/Andre, triumphing over Cubans Diaz/Alayo. Currently taking up the #5 spot in the world ranking, the Brazilians are well on their way to secure their first Olympic appearance. Though the Cubans are further down in the ranking on spot #21, they already showed off their skills in last week’s Recife Challenge, where they also earned themselves a silver medal. They certainly didn't pull their punches in Saquarema either, despite admitting defeat after a tough 2-1 final (21-18,17-21, 19-17).

In a fierce match for the men’s bronze medal, French beach stars Basserau/Lyneel defeated Austrians Ermacora/Waller with a 2-1 victory (21-15, 16-21, 15-12). This is still a strong result for the Austrians, given it was only their second tournament after Waller’s surgery last autumn. Their compatriots Hörl/Horst made another important step towards the Olympic Games with a 5th place finish in Saquarema, despite Hörl battling a stomach bug.

In the women’s final, Chinese duo Xue/Xia triumphed over German beach stars Ludwig/Lippmann. Both teams are in the race for a spot in Paris, with the Chinese currently ranked 6th in the world and the Germans 14th. Xue already claimed a bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and is looking forward to her overall fourth Olympic appearance; for Xia it will be her second appearance after Tokyo 2020. For beach veteran Ludwig, Paris would be her fifth appearance at the Olympic Games - for her partner, Lippmann, with whom Ludwig has formed a team since 2022, however, it would be her first. In the bronze medal match, two home duos faced off one another, with Taiana Lima/Talita defeating Hegeile/Vitoria in a gripping 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-9). This was a big step-up for both teams compared to the most recent Challenge tournament in Recife, where Hegeile/Vitoria ranked 19th and Taiana Lima/Talita 25th.