Canada decides final Rio 2016 Olympic beach berth in North Bay
NORTH BAY, ON, July 16, 2016 : It came down to a third and final set for Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter to pull off a win, and capture Canada’s final Olympic berth in beach volleyball today at the Canor Molson Sand Centre in North Bay.
Both of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Binstock and Schachter defeated Sam Pedlow (Barrie, ON) and Grant O’Gorman (Scarborough, ON) 2-1 (20-22, 21-17,15-12) for Canada’s fourth and final Olympic berth in beach volleyball.
It was a tight match from the start, with Binstock and Schachter dropping the first set in a back and forth exchange that went to 22 points. They managed to come back and win the next two sets despite a strong fight from their challengers.
“We’re ecstatic for sure – we have been in that situation before where we’ve been down, and also have been in other situation being up and lost it, so we know anything can happen,” said Binstock, who played in the 2012 London Olympics with Martin Reader. “Those guys (Pedlow and O’Gorman) are a great team, so if you don’t stay sharp, momentum can swing, so we just stayed poised and optimistic and good things happened.”
Canada already has two women’s teams (Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley, and Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas) and one other men’s team (Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton) bound for Rio.
Last week, both the teams that played today battled to earn Canada’s second men’s beach volleyball spot at the Rio Olympics by winning their semi-final game at the FIVB World Continental Cup in Sochi, Russia. Binstock and Schachter competed against Rolando Hernandez and Jose Gomez of Venezuela while Pedlow and O’Gorman competed against Jesus Villafane and Jackson Henriquez of Venezuela. The teams split the first two matches before Pedlow/O’Gorman defeated Henriquez/Hernandez in a final golden set 15-11.
Today’s match in North Bay was a winner-takes-all scenario. “I’m disappointed but they played well at the end, so congrats to them,” said O’Gorman after today’s trials.
The road to Rio was not smooth for Binstock and Schachter. “It’s unbelievable, it’s been such a crazy year and we’ve gone through so much just to get here,” explained Schachter. “We didn’t have the year we were hoping for…. Missing the cut to get the berth through the rankings was tough on us, and then having to go the Continental Cup route, but the guys (Pedlow and O’Gorman) helped us out a lot at Sochi, so we are super appreciative of that.”
He added: “All the stress to build up to this one match was a lot to handle, but I think Josh and I really managed ourselves well throughout the week to prepare both mentally and physically.”
The official Canadian beach volleyball team announcement will be held in Toronto on, and the sport begins at the Rio 2016 Games on .