Martin Lange, edited by Gauthier Delomez / Photo credits: Stephane Mouchmouche / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP
300 tons of sand, 30 people mobilized for four days and the Philippe-Chartier court is transformed… into a beach. The legendary stadium of the Roland-Garros tournament is hosting this weekend not a new tennis competition, but the Paris Beach Pro Tour. This is an international qualifying beach volleyball tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“For me, it’s the most beautiful site on the World Tour,” rejoices Rémi Bassereau, a French player who forms a pair with his compatriot Julien Lyneel. “When you enter this enclosure, it does a little something in your stomach. It’s emblematic, you really feel very privileged,” continues the volleyball player.
Attract “lambda” spectators
Roland-Garros is also one of the ways to raise awareness of this very spectacular discipline, which has been part of the Olympic program since 1996. “An arena like Roland-Garros, even if only by its name, will bring in spectators.” lambda'”, underlines Youssef Krou, another French player in a duo with Arnaud Gauthier-Rat. The latter continues: “They come to see what beach volleyball is, and to discover it with a view to the Olympics because many have taken their places and everyone is waiting to be there, like us”.
The Paris Olympics, in ten months, are indeed the objective of all these competitors. French beach volleyball players will also be spoiled since they will play under the Eiffel Tower. “It would be our first Olympic Games, at home, on the most beautiful spot in France, the Games, even in the world!” enthuses Lezana Richard, French international.
To do this, we will have to accumulate points and this requires a good result this weekend at Porte d’Auteuil in Paris.