Canada continues Olympic bid at Continental Beach Championship final
Canada got its quest for a second berth in the men’s Olympic beach volleyball competition off on a right foot as the two Canadian teams beat the U.S. Virgin Islands in three-straight matches to sweep the best-of-five country versus country quarterfinal at the NORCECA Continental Cup in Guaymas, Mexico on Friday.
At a scenic venue on the shores of the Gulf of California, the U.S. Virgin Islands had eliminated El Salvador earlier in the day but Canada’s teams were a whole other matter altogether.
First, Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter, both from Richmond Hill, Ont., quickly knocked off Marc Lomeli and Hylas Smith in straight sets (21-11, 21-13). Right after that, Grant O’Gorman from Scarborough, Ont., and Sam Pedlow from Barrie, Ont. were straight-sets winners over Brian Kwasny and Dillon Lesniak (21-8, 21-13).
Binstock and Schachter then took on Kwasny and Lesniak and made quick work of their opponents, taking another match in straight sets (21-4, 21-9).
Canada will face Puerto Rico in the tournament’s semi-final round on Saturday. The finals take place on Sunday. Mexico and Cuba are the other countries still in Olympic contention.
The Continental Cup final features a unique format where teams work together to knock off countries to seal an Olympic berth for the nation. Whichever country claims that spot in Rio would then have to determine which team claims that berth.
Teams that finish second and third will get one final shot through the FIVB World Continental Cup competition.
Canada already has one spot in men’s Olympic beach volleyball with Chaim Schalk from Red Deer, Alta. and Ben Saxton of Calgary already in the draw for the Olympic competition.
There are no Canadian women’s teams competing in Mexico as Canada already has its maximum allotment of two teams in the Olympics for the first time as Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan join Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas in the tournament at the Copacabana Beach.