June 22 (Reuters) - Focus on beach volleyball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
* Each team consists of two players competing on a sand court measuring 16m x 8m. The net is 2.43m high for men and 2.24m for women.
* Games are best of three sets, with a two-point advantage needed to win each set. The first two sets go to 21 points, a third set is to 15 points if the teams split the first two.
* At Tokyo, 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams are competing.
HOW MANY MEDALS?
There are two golds on offer.
WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?
German duo Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst took gold, beating Brazil to win the country’s first women’s medal in the sport. Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt won men’s gold against Italy.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?
The United States and Brazil have earned the most medals at the Olympics but the power balance is shifting, with newcomers like Norway starting to threaten their dominance. Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, the men’s world number one pair, have the chance to win Norway’s first Olympic beach volleyball medal.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?
July 24 to Aug. 7
WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?
Shiokaze Park, Shinagawa-ku ward, at the capital’s waterfront in the Tokyo Bay.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Beach volleyball emerged in California in the 1920s for recreational purposes, and it quickly proved popular. It made its Olympic debut at Barcelona 1992 as a demonstration sport, then became part of the programme from Atlanta 1996.
WELL FANCY THAT
The balls used in beach volleyball are about the same size as those used in volleyball, but they are inflated to 30% lower air pressure, which make them move more slowly. (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Peter Rutherford )