Yokohama, Japan, July 26, 2015 – It was a double medal day for Canada at the $800,000 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam – silver for the men and bronze for the women.
Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil took their third straight FIVB World Tour gold medal in a row after defeating Canada’s Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB) and Ben Saxton (Calgary, AB) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) in the final.
Schalk/Saxton had earlier beaten Russia’s Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov in the morning’s semi-final 2-0 (21-18, 22-20) before facing Alison/Bruno in the gold medal match.
“We are pretty happy with our silver medal. The final was tough, but Alison and Bruno played extremely well and we didn’t play as crisp. It was an amazing tournament for us and it’s a career-high finish, so we are really happy with the result,” said Schalk.
The silver medal for Schalk/Saxton is the pair’s first FIVB medal this year after taking bronze at the Parana Open in late 2014.
On the women’s side, Canada’s Heather Bansley (Waterdown, ON) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) had a grueling semi-final against Agatha/Barbara, which the Brazilians won 2-1 (25-23, 19-21, 15-12) before facing April Ross/Jennifer Fopma of the U.S. in the bronze-medal match.
Bansley/Pavan won in three sets 2-1 (15-21, 22-20, 15-9) for their fourth FIVB medal of the 2015 season.
“It feels really good, we had a really, really tough semi-final match and to come back right after that was really hard, but Jen and April are a really good team and we knew that we would have to come out strong but we’re really happy that we leave here with a medal,” said Pavan. “Every Grand Slam is really important because there are not that many of them and we’ve really been trying to keep progressing as the year goes on….I think we’re on the right track so I think we’re pretty happy.”
Following the Yokohama Grand Slam, the 2015 FIVB World Tour will have a three-week break before resuming in the United States with the double-gender FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in Southern California set for August 18-23.
With reports from www.fivb.com