Qatar's beach volleyball team won the Asian Volleyball Confederation’s Continental Cup on Sunday, earning a ticket to its first-ever volleyball Olympic event at Rio 2016.
The spot at the Olympics was secured by Qatar’s Jefferson Pereira, Cherif Younousse, Julio Junior and Ahmed Tijian.
The Pereira-Younousse duo is most likely to be chosen to compete at Rio 2016, having won the Kish Island Open this February and having reached the 2015 Netherlands FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships quarter-finals.
“We worked so hard for this moment. The last month was so stressful, we trained just for this moment,” said Pereira, a Rio native. “Everyone left their family and went outside to train, it was so stressful, but we did it. We are going to the Olympics. We are now part of the history of Qatar now."
“The country has no history in beach volleyball, I moved to Qatar to try and raise beach volleyball, and now we have made a huge step towards growing the sport in Qatar.”
Tunisia and Egypt will also be represented at the beach volleyball tournament in Rio. The Tunisian men’s team and the Egyptian women’s team booked their 2016 Olympic berths by winning the CAVB Continental Cup earlier this year. Additionally, Egypt qualified to the men’s Rio 2016 volleyball tournament as the winner of the African Qualifiers.
Qatar, Tunisia and Egypt are heading to Rio 2016, targeting their first ever Olympic volleyball medals.