Fans braved wind and rain, but it was worth the wait for the last match today to see Canada’s Ben Saxton (Calgary, AB) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB) battle and win 2-1 (17-21, 21-12, 15-11) over Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak at the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals.
“The fans are supporting us rain or shine, so it’s really nice to have that… It sounds so loud and we can’t thank the fans enough,” Schalk said after the match. “We’re trying to keep everything at a steady pace and enjoy the moment… It was a really great match against a really good team. … We made a lot of big plays and we’re really happy with the result.”
The 2016 Olympians, who finished ninth in Rio, now battle Olympic gold medalists Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar-Schmidt of Brazil in the semifinals at 11 am on Sunday.
Earlier today, Saxton and Schalk beat Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of Netherlands 2-0 (21–19, 21–19) – a team the Canadians fell to at the Olympics.
Also today, hometown crowd favourites Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter (both Richmond Hill, ON) battled but lost 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 12-15) to Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland.
“We’re obviously disappointed coming up just a little short,” said Schachter, after being eliminated. “It really stings being here at home and wanting to win for the crowd, ourselves and our family.”
Also tomorrow, Olympic gold medalists Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany go up against Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich of Switzerland for first place at 12.15 Eastern.