Olympic medallists Bárbara Seixas De Freitas of Brazil and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States posted qualification wins with their partners, to secure spots in the women's main draw at the 2018-2019 International Volleyball Federation Beach World Tour Finals in Rome.
Seixas De Freitas, who captured the silver medal at Rio 2016 with Ágatha Bednarczuk, and her top-seeded partner Fernanda Alves gained a spot in the opening pool play rounds, thanks to a 21-15, 21-15 victory over Switzerland's Laura Caluori and Dunja Gerson at the Italian capital's Foro Italico
It came after they beat compatriots Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima in a three-set country quota match yesterday.
"We came from a tough country quota match and I think we responded pretty well," Seixas De Freitas said.
"We knew it wouldn’t be easy against the Swiss, they’ve been playing in World Tour qualifiers for a while now and they’re very smart on the way they play.
"We knew we had to impose our game and play with determination and I’m proud of what we did today."
Aye/Gauthier-Rat 🇫🇷 are in the #RomeBeachFinals main draw after a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win over Saxton/O'Gorman 🇨🇦!— Beach Volleyball World (@FIVBBeach) September 4, 2019
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A four-time Olympic medallist with three podium-topping finishes with Misty May-Treanor at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012, Walsh Jennings and her second-seeded team-mate Brooke Sweat advanced to the main draw with a 21-8, 21-11 success over Austrian sisters Nadine and Teresa Strauss.
Among the pairings booking their place in the men's main draw were France's Quincy Aye and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat.
They defeated Austria's Tobias Winter and Julian Hörl 21-16, 21-18 in qualification round one, then upset third-seeded Canadians Ben Saxton and Grant O'Gorman by the same scoreline in round two.
Starting tomorrow, the main draw will be made up of 32 teams, split into eight groups of four per gender.
Top-three finishers in each pool will advance to the 24-team elimination brackets, with the group winners netting a bye into the round of 16.
The men's and women's last eight and semi-final matches are on Saturday (September 7), followed by the podium-placement contests on Sunday (September 8).