The local men's and women's teams of Daniel Williams and Daynte Stewart, and Rheeza Grant and Abby Blackman have been drawn in very tricky pools for the first ever Beach Volleyball competition to be held at the Commonwealth Games at the Coolangatta Beachfront, Gold Coast, Australia, today.
Overseen and sanctioned by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), Tuesday’s draw ceremony for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Beach Volleyball competition saw the 12 competing nations for both the men’s and women’s competitions drawn into three pools.
In the men’s competition, Williams and Stewart who ended 2017 as the top ranked team locally after capturing the Flow-sponsored T&T Volleyball Federation National Beach Volleyball League title last December have been drawn in Pool A along with Australia, Fiji and Caribbean rivals, St Kitts/Nevis.
The quartet of Canada, Scotland, Sri Lanka are in in Pool B while England, New Zealand, Cyprus and Mozambique comprise Pool C.
And in the women’s competition, Grant and Blackman, also the top ranked women’s team local and Flow competition winners will do battle with Canada, England and Fiji in Pool B while Australia, Scotland, Grenada and Cyprus are in Pool A, and New Zealand, Vanuatu, Singapore and Rwanda in Pool C.
The preliminaries run from 6-9 April before culminating with the Quarter finals, Semifinals and Gold and Bronze Medal Matches from 10-12 April, with all matches to be held at the 4000-seat capacity Coolangatta Beachfront venue.
The T&T pairings will headline this weekend’s start to the T&T National Beach Volleyball Circuit with the start to the qualifiers for the NORCECA 2018 Circuit and the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, July 19 to August 3.
In addition to Williams and Stewart, some of the teams expected to compete in the men’s qualifiers are Stephen Enile/Steffon Hutson, Kurt Edwards/Kareem Thomas, David Thomas/Frank Whitfield, Josiah Eccles/Joel Theodore, Kevin Rivers/Jason Dennis, Marlon Phillip/Nathaniel Noeriga, and Nolan Tash/Brandon Legall.
And among the other women teams who will start of the weekend of qualifiers on Saturday from 9am, are Tsyan Selvon/Asma Charles, Phylecia Armstrong/Malika Davidson, Brittney Choon/Afiya Alexander, and La Teisha Joseph/Suraya Chase.
The level of play among the teams is expected to be of high quality as points awarded for the
2018 qualifiers will be used in the selection process for the national teams.
2017 Team Points standings men:
1. Daneil Williams and Daynte Stewart - 40 points
2. Abraham Eccles and Joel Theodore - 30 points
Steffon Hutson and Stephen Enile - 16 points
2017 Team Points standings women:
1. Rheeza Grant and Abby Blackman - 36 points
2. Phylecia Armstrong and Malika Davidson - 22 points
3. La Teisha Joseph and Suraya Chase - 19 points