Silver Again for Pavan and Bansley at Porec
July 02, 2016 : For the second year in a row, Canada’s Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont. and Heather Bansley of Waterdown, Ont. snagged a silver at the Porec Major in Croatia.
Seeded 19th, Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany defeated the top Canadian pair 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) in the final today. Earlier, Canada eliminated another German pair, tournament second-seeded Ludwig/Walkenhorst 2-0 (21-17, 21-15).
Although not the result they were looking for, Olympic-bound Pavan and Bansley are sitting solid as Rio gets closer.
“Our search for gold goes on. We move on to Gstaad where we won bronze last year, so we head there going for a gold because it would be a great way to head into the Olympics – and we will do everything we can to make that happen,” Pavan said on theSwatch Major Series web site.
“I think it will take some time for us to see the positives from this,” said Bansley. “They were more consistent and we didn’t play as well as we needed to.”
On the men’s side, Canada’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk reached the semi-finals today. Seeded sixth in the men’s competition, Saxton and Schalk eliminated North American rivals from Mexico and the United States to reach tomorrow’s semi-finals. They face Doppler/Horst of Austria on Sunday for a chance to advance to the gold medal match.
These tournaments leading into Rio are crucial for refining our team systems and building confidence,” explained Canada’s beach head coach, Steve Anderson. “Every win gets Canada closer to having successful performances at the Games.”
Canada’s other women’s entries – Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas finished ninth; and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke finished 17th overall.
Canada currently has three teams qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio – Pavan/Bansley, Broder/Valjas and Saxton/Schalk – with a potential of a fourth from a last-chance qualifier for the men.