Athletes set, serve and spike at international volleyball tournament
Professional volleyball players from around the world converge on Japan's beaches for the FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam.
A quintessential summertime sport, beach volleyball may seem like a breezy, nonchalant sport. But in the world of competitive volleyball, it's intense. Athletes from all corners of the globe – Norway, Italy, Australia and beyond – have taken to the beaches of Yokohama, Japan for the FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam. In the above photo, Israeli player Ariel Hilman is the essence of concentration, poised to receive the ball in the Day 3 match between Russia's Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilinikov.
The Grand Slam, from July 21 to 26, is one of many FIVB World Tour events that will take place through next June. For many beach volleyball athletes, these FIVB competitions will determine whether or not they qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil. Clearly, they're not taking any chances!
Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland makes an epic dive for the ball – and the effort paid off. He went on to win the match with teammate Michal Kadziola against Premysl Kubala and Jan Hadrava of the Czech Republic. (Photo: Masashi Hara/Getty Images for FIVB)
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