April 16, 2016: Canada came away from the FIVB Xiamen Open in China with two top-five finishes.
Albertans Chaim Schalk of Red Deer and Ben Saxton of Calgary finished a respectable fifth in the men’s event, which adds points to their Olympic ranking.
“We had a solid week in Xiamen and played at a high level,” said Schalk. “With a fifth we are increasing our Olympic points as we continue to pursue Rio.”
The pair’s only loss came in the playoffs to Herrera/Gavira of Spain (17-21, 21-19, 8-15). The Spaniards went on to win gold after beating Americans Hyden/Bourne in a three-set final.
Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, Ont.) and Taylor Pischke (Winnipeg, Man.), the only female Canadian team at this event, also finished fifth.
“We played well throughout the week but couldn’t quite capitalize in the end,” Humana-Paredes said of their loss to a German team in the playoffs. “We keep learning each game and putting it into action the next game, which is positive. Happy with a 5th place finish, but definitely hungry for more and looking for a better finish in Fuzhou!”
The double-gender FIVB Fuzhou Open will take place April 19-23.
Sam Pedlow (Barrie, Ont.) and Grant O’Gorman (Scarborough, Ont.) finished 17th after losing to Huber/Seidl of Austria 1-2 (21-18, 18-21, 10-15) in the first round of playoffs.
The provisional Olympic rankings can be found here:
- Men: http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/OGRanking_M.asp
- Women: http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/OGRanking_W.asp