Beach duo Pedlow and O’Gorman off to a good start to 2016
February 18, 2016: Canada’s only entry in the FIVB World Tour Kish Island Open (Feb. 15 to 19) in Iran finished a respectable fifth overall today.
Sam Pedlow (Barrie, Ont.) and Grant O’Gorman (Scarborough, Ont.) went undefeated in pool play. First, they beat Austrians Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl 2-1 (25-23, 15-21, 15-10) and then followed up with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) victory over China’s Chen Cheng and Zhang Lizeng. They wrapped up the pool with a win over third-seeded Italian twins Matteo and Paolo Ingrosso 0-2 (21-23, 15-21).
Today, however, the Canadians – ranked 14th at this event – were eliminated by Losiak and Kantor (7th) of Poland 0-2 (14-21, 19-21).
“Both Grant and I are happy to have started the season where we left off in 2015, playing at a very high level,” said Pedlow today. “We are glad to have started this critical season with a good finish, and look forward to continuing to compete next week as we travel to Brazil.”
They are heading to Brazil for two Open events and then a Grand Slam in Rio, March 8 to 13, where they will be joined by other top Canadian teams vying for Olympic qualification.
O’Gorman was pleased with the pair’s start to 2016: “The fifth-place finish is a way better way to start the season compared to last year’s 33rd! Semi-finals are within reach. We are headed to Maceio, Brazil, tomorrow.”
Canadians Cam Wheelan and Mike Plantinga entered the qualification portion of the tournament, but did not make the main draw.
The men’s only FIVB Kish Island Open marks the first time an FIVB World Tour event is held in the Persian Gulf nation.
The 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the calendar – following the Kish Island Open – will include a further ten FIVB Opens, five FIVB Grand Slam events along with three Swatch FIVB Major Series stops, and the second Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The highlights of the calendar will also include the beach volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.