June 24 (Reuters) – Five beach volleyball players to watch at the Tokyo Olympics:
ANDERS MOL (NORWAY)
Norwegian Mol, who teamed up with Christian Sorum, is considered an emerging powerhouse with his exceptional athletic ability and spike blocking skills. The duo are aiming for Norway’s first Olympic beach volleyball medals.
Born into a family of volleyball and beach volleyball players, Mol, 23, has won FIVB awards such as top blocker, top passer, top striker and most outstanding player, having been named the best newcomer to the game. world tour 2017.
DANIELE LUPO (ITALY)
Italy’s Lupo, 30, won the country’s first beach volleyball medal in Rio in 2016 when he teamed up with Paolo Nicolai and they lost in the final.
With their place firmly secured in Tokyo, the pair aim to find success at the Games. Lupo was the flag bearer for Italy at the closing ceremony in Rio.
LAURA LUDWIG (GERMANY)
The German Ludwig, gold medalist in Rio, made his comeback in 2019 at the age of 33 after maternity leave. German professional player, Ludwig is a defender.
She won four gold medals at the European Championships. Ludwig clinched gold in Rio and won the 2017 world championship.
EDUARDA ‘DUDA’ SANTOS (BRAZIL)
Rising Brazilian beach volleyball star Santos has won four World Tour events and climbed 13 podiums in the World Tour.
Duda, 22, was voted the FIVB’s top rookie in 2016 and won a gold medal at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.
AVRIL ROSS (UNITED STATES)
American professional beach volleyball player Ross won a bronze medal at Rio 2016 and a silver at the London 2012 Games.
Ross and new teammate Alix Klineman are America’s best pair and are seen as medal contenders in Tokyo, with former teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings failing to qualify with new partner Brooke Sweat.
Once a star indoor volleyball player, Ross was named FIVB Rookie in 2007 and has since won the awards for best offensive player, hitter and server. She split from Walsh Jennings after winning a bronze medal in Rio.
Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Ken Ferris
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