Beachvolley Vikings Anders and Christian make their World Championship debuts in Hamburg. The Norwegians enjoyed a stunning break-out season in 2018, winning Majors in Gstaad and Vienna, the European Championships and the World Tour Finals and their fine form continued this season, with four gold medals already.
Polish pair Grzegorz and Michal shot up the World Rankings thanks to a host of terrific top-five results in the past 18 months. The duo, who finished 17th in Vienna in 2017, have always been the bridesmaids, winning four silver medals together – losing in the final to Mol/Sørum on each occasion.
Widely considered to be one of the most entertaining teams on the World Tour, Polish powerhouses Piotr and Bartosz have enjoyed a long and successful partnership since 2009. The duo scooped three youth titles in the past and finished fifth in the senior edition in Vienna two years ago. Rarely out of the top 10, they won bronze in Hamburg at last season’s World Tour Finals.
Olympic silver medalists from 2016 Daniele and Paolo have been teammates since 2011 and the popular Italians will be hoping to improve on their previous championships experience that has seen them finish ninth, 17th and 17th in their last three tournaments. 2018 saw them win bronze in Gstaad but their consistent results were still enough for them to qualify for Hamburg.
Considered as the number one men's American pairing, Nick and Phil head to Hamburg defending a 100 per cent record in the Rothenbaum, having won gold medals on their two previous visits. The duo, who are both 39, have vast championships experience to call on, with Dalhausser a champion in 2008. In Vienna two years ago, they finished fifth.
2016 Olympic bronze medalists Alex and Rob will be aiming to regain their World Championship crown they won in Poland in 2013 when they set foot on the sand in Hamburg. Injury restricted them to a 17th place in Vienna two years ago but the World Tour regulars will be hoping to build on yet another consistent 2018 and 2019 when they when to the Rothenbaum.
Carrying the hopes of an expectant nation, Clemens and Julius burst on the scene last season when winning bronze in the four-star World Tour event in Portugal. They maintained their good form and wowed a capacity Rothenbaum crowd at the World Tour Finals later in the season. The German pair then won silver in The Hague at the start of 2019 and head to Hamburg confident on their world champs debut.
Austria’s most famous beach volleyball sons enjoyed a fairytale tournament on home sand two years ago when they went all the way to the final and won silver. Regular finishers in the top 10 on the World Tour since joining forces in 2012, can Alex and Clemens go one better in Hamburg. The veterans have a wealth of experience to call upon, and this championship will be a record-equaling 10th for 38-year-old Doppler.
Qatari kings of the beach, Cherif and Ahmed have become a force to be reckoned with on the World Tour since teaming up in 2018. The pair enjoyed an excellent 2018 campaign, winning bronze in Vienna and finishing in the top 10 in all but one of the tournaments in which they competed, and 2019 also began well with a bronze in Xiamen.
The 2019 championships will Pablo and Adrian’s sixth championships as a team and the popular Spanish duo will be aiming to better the fifth place they have posted in four of those previous tournaments. The ultra-consistent pair have been playing together since 2009 and last season they earned a silver medal at the Gstaad Major.
Formidable Russian duo Viacheslav and Oleg teamed up last year and have already bagged four medals from six tournaments together this season including golds in Xiamen and The Hague. Krasilnikov won World Championship bronze in Vienna with Nikita Liamin.
Russians Konstantin and Ilya have started their partnership in brilliant form, winning two golds and two bronze medals in their first 11 events together – a run of results that helped them qualify for Hamburg.
Hugely experienced Latvians Janis and Aleksandrs have played in a combined nine World Championships between them and the duo will be aiming to improve on the ninth place finish in Vienna two years ago. After injury problems in 2017, the Latvians returned to form last year and won two gold medals among a host of top-10 finishes.
Gibb/Taylor Crabb (USA)
Jake and Taylor finished 17th in Vienna two years ago but since then the pair have risen to become one of the top American teams on the World Tour. At 43, Gibb is the oldest competitor in Hamburg but in Taylor the veteran of seven previous championships has one of the world’s most up-and-coming defenders behind him.
Latvians Martins and Edgars head to a World Championships as a team for the first time, buoyed by an excellent 2018 season that saw them break into the top 10 of the world. This will be Martins’ seventh championships and the experienced defender will be aiming to better his fourth place achieved in 2011 with Janis Smedins.
Grimalt E./Grimalt M. (Chile)
Cousins Esteban and Marco secured their ticket to Hamburg thanks to back-to-back gold medals at tournaments in Doha and Sydney in March and April this year. The Chileans will compete in their fourth championships together and will be aiming to improve on their 17th place achieved last time out in Vienna.
Pedro Solberg/Vitor Felipe (Brazil)
A new team for 2019, Brazilians Pedro and Vitor qualified for Hamburg courtesy of results and points gained from previous partnerships. Both players are no strangers to the World Championships with veteran Pedro a bronze medalist in The Hague in 2015 with Evandro Goncalves – this year will be the 33-year-old’s seventh championships.
Hyped as the ‘dream team’ of Brazilian beach volleyball, all eyes will be on the reigning world champion Evandro and Olympic champion Bruno at their first championships together as a pairing. Between them, the South Americans have won the last two editions of the championships, with Evandro winning gold in Vienna last year with Andre Loyola and Bruno triumphing in 2015 with Alison Cerutti.
Alison/Alvaro Filho (Brazil)
A gold medal in only their second World Tour event together in May in Kuala Lumpur helped Alison and Alvaro secure their spot inside the Rothenbaum. A new team for 2019, Alison is a two-time World Champion, winning the title in Rome with Emanuel in 2011 and with Bruno in The Hague in 2015. Alvaro brings his experience too: in 2013 he won silver with Ricardo and finished fifth with Vitor Felipe two years later.
A string of consistent performances on the World Tour helped send the two Sams to Hamburg for what will be their second World Championships. While the Canadian pair have yet to win a World Tour medal together, they won silver at last season’s Commonwealth Games and posted a number of encouraging top-10 results which established their position as Canada’s number one team.
Koekelkoren/van Walle (Belgium)
Dries and Tom were one of the surprise packages of the 2017 World Championships in Vienna when the Belgians posted a fine ninth place finish on their first appearance in the competition. They continued their good form in 2018, finishing fifth in Gstaad and third in Qinzhou, thus ensuring their qualification for Hamburg on merit as one of the world’s top 23 teams.
A mass partner-swapping exercise among the Brazilian teams in 2019 almost saw reigning World Champion Andre miss out on defending his title. However, with new partner George, the 2017 champ secured his ticket to Hamburg thanks to three ninth place finishes in a row. 22-year-old George is a former Under-21 and Under-19 World Champion who will make his senior debut at the Rothenbaum.
Adrian and Mirco posted a number of fine results at the back-end of 2018 and the start of 2019 to book their place in Hamburg. That included a fifth place in The Hague in the first tournament of the year and that result helped rubber-stamp the Swiss pairing’s participation in the Rothenbaum for their first championships together.
Bourne/Trevor Crabb (USA)
Tri’s return to beach volleyball is one of the sport’s feel-good stories. For over 700 days a chronic inflammatory disease kept him off the sand until he made a storybook comeback to action when winning gold on his first event back on the sand in Qinzhou last October with new teammate and fellow Hawaiian Trevor Crabb. The pair have struck up a fine partnership, and who’s to say that Bourne cannot repeat the fifth place finish he achieved with John Hyden at the 2015 championships.
A new team for 2019, the Russian duo made it to Hamburg having qualified through the European qualification pathway – based on results they earned from previous parnterships. Experienced Nikita won bronze in Vienna two years ago with Viacheslav Krasilnikov, while Taras, 10 years younger than his teammate, enjoyed a an excellent 2018 season, winning four medals with Valeriy Samoday.
Perusic/Schweiner (Czech Republic)
The Czech Republic’s number one men’s team officially booked their spot through the European qualification route, but in truth it was their consistent performances on the World Tour that secured their place. Ondrej and David enjoyed a break-out 2018 season that saw them win their first World Tour medals together and post a number of impressive top-10 finishes.
Rob and Philipp hit the ground running when beginning their partnership together with a gold medal in their first event in Haiyang last summer. Since then the Austrians have continued to pick up consistent results, which was enough to earn a place in Hamburg which came through the European qualification pathway.
Russians Maksim and Igor were another team brought together by their national federation that will head to Hamburg thanks to their results achieved with previous teammates. Maksum enjoyed a fine 2018 with Ruslan Bykanov, winning two World Tour gold medals, while Igor’s success came alongside Oleg Stoyanovskiy.
Philipp and Yannick received a wildcard for what will be their World Championship debut, but their results on the World Tour more than validate their place among the 48-team field. The Germans have enjoyed a number of excellent results at three and four-star World Tour events, leaving the impression they will be a match for any of the top teams.
Americans Stafford and Billy booked their place at the Rothenbaum via the North American qualification pathway, thanks to their results on the NORCECA tour. The duo enjoyed success together on the AVP Tour but have only just joined forces on the World Tour this season, winning a bronze in Sydney ahead of what will be their World Championship debut in Hamburg.
One of the first teams to officially qualify, Canadians Grant and Ben booked their ticket to Hamburg by winning Canada’s trials event that the country held after it secured a place through their North and Central American qualification pathway. Now in their second season together the duo have already won one World Tour event. While O’Gorman makes his championships debut, Saxton holds an impressive record of two fifth place finished in his last three World Championships.
German wildcards Alex and Sven will make their World Championship debut as a team on home sand, hoping to build on solid performances on the World Tour over the past 12 months. Those results include two bronze medals and hugely respectable fourth place in a three-star event in Malaysia. Sven, just 20, finished fifth at the Under-19 World Championships three years ago.
No strangers to the World Tour, Mexicans Lombardo and Juan embark on their fourth World Championships as a pairing after qualifying through the North and Central American qualification pathway. The experienced duo finished 17th in Vienna two years ago but finished ninth in The Hague to years prior.
Qualifying through the North and Central American qualification pathway, Sergio and Luis will make their World Championship debut together as a team. 20-year-old Luis will experience his first major championships, but Sergio is no stranger to the tournament having finishing ninth with Nivaldo Diaz in 2015 and two years ago in Vienna.
Venezuelans Jose and Carlos have gained considerable World Tour experience together over the past 18 months, including an excellent 17th place finish in Gstaad last season. Having earned their place via South American qualification pathway, the duo will be aiming to put their good recent work to use in Hamburg. Tigrito is a former Youth Olympic silver medalist.
Italian wildcards Alex and Marco head to their first championships as a team aiming to build on a flourishing partnership that has been delayed through injury. While recent results have been mixed, the pair can take confidence from their performances at the beginning of the 2018 that saw them finish in the top 10 of three successive high-profile World Tour tournaments.
Lars and Nils will represent home nation Germany at the Rothenbaum having only joined forces at the back-end of the 2018 season. The start to their partnership has seen them earn a fifth place finish in Malaysia. Lars, a 2016 Olympian and Nils – who stands 6ft 11in tall – haven’t had luck on their so side far in the early phase of their partnership but with the home crowd behind them they stand a good chance of better fortune in Hamburg.
Volleyroos Cole and Damien head to Hamburg having gained plenty of experience on the World Tour since they were paired together by their federation a year ago. The pair secured their spot through the Asian qualification pathway but have struggled for consistency on the World Tour. Durant will make his championship debut and the blocker can take heart from Damien’s experience that saw him finish ninth in Vienna two years ago with former partner Chris McHugh.
Nicolas and Julian make their World Championship debut having booked their ticket via the South American qualification pathway. The Argentinians have plenty of World Tour experience behind them and are regulars on the South American tour.
Iranian Arash and Bahman head to Hamburg after qualifying through the Asian qualification pathway. The pair are regulars on World Tour events that have taken place close to home and it’s seen them record success, winning two medals and finishing in the top five of a host of one and two-star events in the past 12 months.
Hugely experienced pairing of Yusuke and Yuga head to Hamburg after being put forward as Japan’s entry into the championships via the Asian qualification pathway. The duo made their World Tour debut as a team in Sydney in March this year but both have tasted international experience over the past few seasons, with Yusuke, nicknamed Gottsu, winning a one-star World Tour gold last year.
Uruguayans Mauricio and Marco return to World Championship action together having participated in Vienna two years ago. Regular players on the South American circuit, their appearances on the World Tour have been restricted and the pair qualified for Hamburg through the South American pathway. In 2014 the pair finished fifth in the Youth Olympics.
Experienced Qatari pair Tamer and Mahmoud booked their place at the Rothenbaum via the Asian qualification pathway having impressed on the AVC Tour alongside compatriots Cherif and Tijan. Of their few appearances together on the World Tour, they impressed on home sand at the Doha four-star in April, finishing ninth.
Chilean duo Ignacio and Gaspar will be making their international debuts when they step foot on the Rothenbaum sand. Regulars on the South American circuit, they qualified via that pathway after they helped Chile earn one of the four continental spots. Gaspar will be 19 during the tournament, making him the youngest male competitor at the championships.
Morocco’s most experience beach volleyball duo return for their second successive World Championships after finishing 37th in Vienna two years ago. Other than the appearance in Austria, both players have had little experience on the World Tour, and the team qualified for Hamburg through the African qualification pathway, through a competition that was held in April.
Patrick and Olivier will make history in Hamburg as the team will be the first men’s team to represent Rwanda at a championships. It will also be the first time the pair have tasted senior action on the World Tour. They earned their spot at the Rothenbaum via the African qualification pathway.
Ensuring Mozambique have a team at the World Championship for the second tournament in succession, Delcio and Aldevino head to Hamburg after qualifying from the African pathway. Despite their lack of experience on the World Tour, Nguvo finished 37th in Vienna last year, while Soares took part in the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year.
Kamara/Bangura (Sierra Leone)
Sierra Leone are also represented for a second World Championships running after John and Ishmail booked their spot at the Rothenbaum after making it through the African qualification pathway. The pair have played once before on the international stage – back in 2016 when they participated in the Continental Cup for qualification for Rio.