WOMEN'S QUALIFICATION PROCESS - Misty May and Kerri Walsh is the top-ranked team among SWATCH-FIVB World Tour tandems in the qualifying process for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The pair has almost a 1,500 point lead over their United States rivals as the tandems of Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs and Annett Davis/Jenny Johnson Jordan are in a close battle for the second spot.
- May and Walsh have a 336 point lead over the No. 2-ranked SWATCH-FIVB World Tour team of Ana Paula Connolly/Sandra Pires of Brazil.
- May and Walsh have compiled six wins en route to 3,810 points for eight events. A third-place or better finish in the next event ( Greece ) will improve their point total.
- McPeak and Youngs have amassed 2,350 points for their eight events. They need a ninth-place or better in the next SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event to improve their score.
- Davis and Johnson Jordan have compiled 2,324 points for eight events. They will erase their lowest score in their next SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event to improve their standings by at least 18 points.
- If McPeak and Youngs don’t erase their lowest score in their next international event and Davis and Johnson Jordan place 17th or better, then Davis and Johnson Jordan will move into the second qualifying spot.
MEN'S QUALIFICATION PROCESS – With Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard in the lead for the United States' No. 1 spot into the men's beach volleyball competition at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the teams of Todd Rogers/Sean Scott and Dax Holdren/Stein Metzger are battling for the second American berth where the top 22 men's team in the world will compete along with tandems from Greece and the continent of Africa.
- It appears that Holdren and Metzger have the edge after finishing second in the FIVB World Championships last October in Rio de Janeiro where the silver medal finish in the prestigious event earned the team “bonus” points. Rogers and Scott stumbled in Rio to collect only 120 points for their 33rd finish while Holdren and Metzger collected 720 points.
- However, Rogers and Scott still have time to improve their Olympic standing with seven events left before the July 11 cut-off to determine the teams for Athens . The pair is Olympic qualified with 1,468 points for their best eight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour finishes since the start of the 2003 season. Holdren and Metzger, who have 1,332 points for five events, still must post four more international finishes in the next three months to meet the Olympic qualifying standards.
NOTES: May and Kerri Walsh are the early favorites to take home the women's gold medal, while the second women's team has a very realistic shot at a medal as well. Any of the men's teams certainly have a shot at a podium finish but the depth of international teams is much deeper.