2021 Tokyo Olympic Updates: Cancun Hub First Event Preview

We’re 100 days out from the Opening Ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics (yay!). So we’re setting you up with everything you need to follow, predict, and root for your favorites as we approach this extremely important series of events in Cancun, Mexico.

Let’s start with the Points Table, a Google Sheet that took way too long but yielded pretty epic results IMO. It’s what you’ve all been waiting for (and have been asking me about via Instagram, shouting from The Strand while I’m playing, and while I’m on a date).

As I’ve hammered home in my previous Tokyo Olympic Race Updates – beach volleyball teams qualify for the Olympics by their top 12 finishes in FIVB tournaments during the qualification period. The accumulation of those top finishes constitutes a team’s OR. The teams within the Top 15 in Olympic Ranking (OR) on June 13, 2021, will be afforded a chance to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

The kicker is only two teams per country are allowed in the Games. So regardless of your OR in the world, you need to have one of the top two OR in your country.

All of these events are 4-Star tournaments. The point structure for a 4-Star is as follows:

17th = 320
9th = 400
5th = 480
4th = 560
3rd = 640
2nd = 720
1st = 800

Below is the Points Table breakdown of each of the three viable Men’s team’s top 12 finishes.

A few things of note here.

  • Dalhausser/Lucena have two very low finishes at 240 points apiece. That means they’re likely to add big numbers to their OR in Cancun.
  • Bourne/Crabb had an incredible showing at the World Champs in 2019, earning a 4th place and a whopping 1100 points. That finish is more than 1/6th of their overall total.
  • Bourne/Crabb and Gibb/Crabb both have to score 9th or better to improve their point totals. Dalhausser/Lucena just need to win one match at the first two events to improve theirs.

The quota spot jumping potential only involves two of the three teams in this 1st event.

Points to drop: 360
Finish needed to increase OR: 9th

Points to drop: 240
Finish needed to increase OR: 17th

Points to drop: 320
Finish needed to increase OR: 9th

There is no chance for either Dalhausser/Lucena or Bourne/Crabb to take over first place from Gibb/Crabb. Dalhausser/Lucena could come really close, though, getting to within just 40 points if they win and Gibb/Crabb finish 17th or worse. Bourne/Crabb could come within 160 points with a Gold medal and no point increase for Gibb/Crabb.

The change that could happen in the 1st event for the guys involves the fight for the all-important second (and final) Olympic spot for the USA. Bourne/Crabb are just 40 points behind Dalhausser/Lucena and would love nothing more than to take the qualifying spot back after the veterans passed them in Doha. Here’s how the Hawaiians can do it:

  • Bourne/Crabb get 9th/5th/4th/3rd/2nd/1st
  • Dalhausser/Lucena get 25th/17th/9th/5th/4th/3rd

Read that as: If Bourne/Crabb get 9th or better and Dalhausser/Lucena get 25th or worse, Crabb/Gibb get the second quota spot back. And so on and so forth. Anything outside of these scenarios keeps Dalhuasser/Lucena in the lead.

Big news for Bourne/Crabb is that Patterson/Budinger have withdrawn from all Cancun Events. That means the Hawaiians will automatically be into the Qualifier for the 1st and 3rd Events. They were expecting to play three CQs and now only have two. So great for the Hawaiians.

Now for the ladies, where the Race is also taking place for the second quota spot.

A few things to note for the women.

  • It’s now officially a three-team race for the USA’s second Olympic Qualifying position. That’s because, with their victory in Doha, Ross/Klineman have mathematically locked in their spot in Tokyo! They’re #1 in World OR and have plenty of motivation to keep their foot on the gas. The top 4 women’s teams (USA, CAN, BRA, BRA) have majorly distanced themselves from the rest of the world, and are in a tight points battle to get the #1 seed in Tokyo.
  • Stockman/Kolinske made the biggest move in OR in Doha. Another Semifinal appearance could really close the gap. They can’t catch Walsh-Jennings/Sweat in Cancun’s 1st Event. But if they get at least a Bronze medal, they could have a shot at surpassing the teams above them in the 2nd Event.
  • The comparison between Walsh/Sweat and Sponcil/Claes is the main focus for the first Cancun event. We’ll get to that in a minute.

The quota spot jumping potential for the ladies looks like this:

Points to drop: 480
Finish needed to increase OR: 4th

Points to drop: 480
Finish needed to increase OR: 4th

Points to drop: 400
Finish needed to increase OR: 5th

Points to drop: 360
Finish needed to increase OR: 9th

As I said, the Walsh/Sweat vs. Sponcil/Claes matchup is most noteworthy in this 1st Event. Sponcil/Claes are now within 240 points of Walsh-Jennings/Sweat after gaining 80 points in Doha. There’s a chance the two teams are tied after the 1st Event; there’s a narrow road for a lead change. For a possible tie, Sponcil/Claes would need at least a Bronze medal. To overtake the Qualifying spot, they would have to make the final. Here are the details:

For a tie:

  • Sponcil/Claes get 3rd/2nd/1st
  • Walsh-Jennings/Sweat get 5th/4th/3rd

For a change:

  • Sponcil/Claes get 2nd/1st
  • Walsh-Jennings/Sweat get 5th/4th

With all this being said – Sponcil/Claes still has to make it past the Country Quota and Qualifier. In all three events. Their opponents for the 1st Event will be the same as in Doha. Sponcil/Claes have to beat the winner of Reeves/Cannon vs. Hughes/Day. The CQ happens on Thursday, April 15; the Qualifier is all day Friday, April 16. And the first Main Draw matches of the Cancun Hub begin on Saturday, April 17.

So. Much. To. Be. Excited. About. Keep checking the AVP trending articles for updates, breakdowns, and more!