The 2022 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Finals have just ended, but the top teams in international beach volleyball will be back in action this week when the Qatari capital Doha hosts the opening event of the 2023 season.

The Elite16 tournament at the Aspire Park sports complex from Wednesday to Sunday will mark the start of the second season of the Beach Pro Tour after a successful 2022 edition. It will feature the best players in the world in intense competition.

The five-day tournament will reunite 56 teams – 28 men’s and 28 women’s – and it will also mark the start of the race to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Although the qualification period officially started on January 1, the Doha Elite16 event is the first at which teams from around the world will be able to add points to their Olympic rankings.

At the end of the qualification period, on June 9, 2024, the 17 best-ranked men’s and women’s teams in the Olympic rankings will qualify for the Games (joining a team from the host country, the winners of the 2023 Beach Volleyball World Championships, and five teams from the five Continental Olympic tournaments). A good result in Doha will certainly provide a valuable head start for the teams that can make deep runs in this week’s tournament.

The level of play to be expected at the Doha Elite16 will certainly be high. All 20 teams – ten men’s and ten women’s – that competed at the 2022 Beach Pro Tour Finals will take part in the event, where they will be joined by several other heavyweights of international beach volleyball.