Women’s beach volleyball has hands down been one of the highlights of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The competition has been fierce, and the ladies have been looking gorgeous. Whoever decided to make bikinis the official uniform of women’s beach volleyball deserves a Nobel Prize. Talk about a humanitarian.
The field of 24 teams is now down to just four, as the tournament has reached the semifinals. There’s no better way to recap the action and get ready for the remaining games than by taking a look at the hottest beach volleyball players of Rio.
April Ross – USA
April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings have made it to the semifinals to face Ágatha Bednarczuk and Bárbara Seixas of Brazil. This is Ross’ first Olympics with Walsh Jennings, but she did win silver with Jennifer Kessy at the 2012 Games.
Kerri Walsh Jennings – USA
Walsh Jennings won three straight gold medals with Misty May-Treanor at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Games. After May-Treanor’s retirement, Walsh Jennings paired up with Ross, and the duo is currently in the semifinals.
Elsa Baquerizo & Liliana Fernández – Spain
Ages: Elsa (29) & Liliana (29)
This was Elsa and Liliana’s second straight Olympics together, and in both Games they were eliminated in the round of 16. In 2012, they were eliminated by Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti of Italy, and in 2016, Ekaterina Birlova and Evgenia Ukolova of Russia sent them home.
Joana Heidrich & Nadine Zumkehr – Switzerland
Age: Joana (24) & Nadine (31)
This was Joana and Nadine’s first Olympics together, and they made it to the quarterfinals before getting eliminated by Talita Antunes and Larissa França of Brazil in a 2-1 nail-biter.
Louise Bawden & Taliqua Clancy – Australia
Ages: Louise (35) & Taliqua (24)
This was Louise and Taliqua’s first Olympics together, and they had a very solid showing in Rio. They made it to the quarterfinals before getting swept by Ross and Walsh Jennings of the USA .
Larissa França & Talita Antunes – Brazil
Ages: Larissa (34) & Talita (33)
Larissa won bronze at the 2012 Olympics with Juliana Silva, but this is her first Games with Talita. The pair has been playing great, and they are set to face Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany in the semifinals.
Madelein Meppelink & Marleen van Iersel – The Netherlands
Ages: Madelein (26) & Marleen (28)
This was the pair’s first Olympics together, and they made it to the round of 16 before losing 2-1 to Heidrich and Zumkehr of Switzerland.
Brooke Sweat & Lauren Fendrick – USA
Ages: Brooke (30) & Lauren (34)
Both Brooke and Lauren made their Olympic debuts in Rio. Unfortunately, they went 0-3 in group play and finished last in Pool A.
Barbora Hermannová & Markéta Sluková – Czech Republic
Ages: Barbora (25) & Markéta (28)
This was the pair’s first Olympics together, and they went 1-2 in Pool B. This gave them a spot in the lucky loser playoffs, where they would lose 2-1 to Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Birlova of Russia.
Olaya Pazo & Norisbeth Agudo – Venezuela
Ages: Olaya (33) & Norisbeth (24)
Both Olaya and Norisbeth made their Olympic debuts in Rio, and they made it to the lucky loser playoffs after going 1-2 in Pool F. They would lose their next match 2-0 to Karla Borger and Britta Büthe of Germany.
Evgenia Ukolova & Ekaterina Birlova – Russia
Ages: Evgenia (27) & Ekaterina (29)
This was the duo’s second straight Olympic appearance. In 2012, they lost to Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China in the round of 16. In 2016, they advanced all the way to the quartefinals before getting swept by Ágatha Bednarczuk and Bárbara Seixas of Brazil.
Jamie Broder & Kristina Valjas – Canada
Ages: Jamie (31) & Kristina (29)
Both Jamie and Kristina made their Olympic debuts in Rio, and they were eliminated by Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada in the round of 16.
Ágatha Bednarczuk & Bárbara Seixas – Brazil
Ages: Ágatha (33) & Bárbara (29)
Both Ágatha and Bárbara are making their Olympic debuts in Rio, and they are most definitely making the most out of the opportunity. They are set to face Walsh Jennings and Ross in the semifinals.
Marta Menegatti – Italy
This was Marta’s second straight Olympic temperance. In 2012, Marta and Greta Cicolari made it to the round of 16 before getting eliminated by May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings of the USA. In 2016, Marta and Laura Giombini were sent home by Ross and Walsh Jennings in the round of 16.
Anouk Verge-Depre – Switzerland
Anouk made her Olympic debut at Rio with partner and fellow first-timer Isabelle Forrer. The duo got swept by Ludwig and Walkenhorst of Germany in the round of 16.