LANGLEY, British Columbia – Fresh off representing Canada at the Olympic Games, former Trinity Western men’s volleyball setter Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, Alta.) and partner Ben Saxton are once again set to compete against the best in the world at the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals Sept. 13-18 at Polson Pier in Toronto.
The duo, who finished in a tie for ninth in Rio, will play in the finale of the FIVB World Tour looking to use home court and the Canadian crowd to their advantage. Schalk and Saxton open the tournament Thursday with pool play at 12:30 p.m. (PT).
Schalk and Saxton earned a spot in the prestigious event as a wild card, but will still be amongst the favourites to make some noise in on the beaches of Lake Ontario. The pair won bronze medals at two of the past three Swatch Major Series events, finishing third at the Poreč Major before repeating the feat in the A1 Major Klagenfurt.
Just like in the Olympics, the Canadians will be in a pool along with Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Evandro, who Schalk and Saxton beat in Rio with a thrilling three-set win in pool play.
The USA’s John Hyden and Tri Bourne will join the Canadians and Brazilians in Pool D.
The tournament features both Brazilian Olympic gold medallists Alison and Bruno and Dutch bronze medallists Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen. Brouwer and Meeuwsen eliminated Schalk and Saxton in the Round of 16 in Rio.
Starting Friday, the latter stages of the tournament will be broadcast on TSN.
Last year Schalk and Saxton bowed out at the Swatch World Tour Finals at Fort Lauderdale in the pool play.
Admission to the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto is free.
Sept. 15 | Schalk/Saxton vs. Hyden/Bourne – 12:30 p.m. (PT)
Sept. 16 | Schalk/Saxton vs. Pedro Solberg/Evandro – 12 p.m. (PT)
Sept. 16 | Playoffs
Sept. 17 | Semifinals
Sept. 18 | Gold and Bronze medal matches.