The postponement of the Olympic Games in Tokyo until 2021 has left many volleyball stars in the United States in a state of limbo. Numerous athletes are still sweating on whether they will make the team next year and that could lead to many of them having a few sleepless nights over the next few months. The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) is yet to confirm whether any changes are likely to be made to the qualification process, further clouding the situation.
Read on as we look at some of the main volleyball players wondering if they will be representing the US at the Games.
Clock ticking for Walsh Jennings
Kerri Walsh Jennings will be amongst the favourites with olybet.eu to pick up a medal next summer if she manages to qualify for the beach volleyball event. The 41-year-old has won three gold and one bronze medal during her illustrious career and was in pole position to claim the second qualifying spot with her partner, Brooke Sweat. April Ross and Alix Klineman were well on course to secure the other place, but the delay in play could make things difficult for Walsh Jennings. Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil are still in with a chance of qualifying and denying the veteran a fifth appearance at the Olympics.
Dalhausser & Lucena aiming to sneak in
Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb look well placed to secure qualification for the men’s beach volleyball in Tokyo, but who will join them there is less clear. Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne are currently second in the US standings, but Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are in with a chance of overhauling them. The latter named pair have played a tournament fewer than their rivals and should pass them in the rankings if they produce their usual form when that is played. Dalhausser won gold with Todd Rogers in 2008 and will be eager to end his international career on a high note with another appearance at the Olympics.
Plummer aiming to follow in Kiraly’s footsteps
Kathryn Plummer is hoping to join USA head coach Karch Kiraly in the record books by winning Olympic gold in both indoor and beach volleyball competitions. The 21-year-old, who has been heavily tipped to become one the best volleyball players in the world, has already enjoyed success at international level. She was part of the US squad which won a third straight Pan American Cup in Peru last July, and is strongly fancied to qualify for Tokyo. Kiraly won Olympic gold in indoor (1984 & 1988) and beach volleyball (1996), and it would be a brave move to back against Plummer achieving the same feat during her career.