It will be a Canada versus Australian showdown at Coolangatta Beach tomorrow for the first-ever Commonwealth Games gold medals in beach volleyball.
Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan dominated their semifinal match 2-0 (21-7, 21-12) against Mariota Angelopoulou and Manolina Konstantinou of Cyprus. They will play home country favourites Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar in the Thursday final.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for tomorrow,” said Melissa Humana-Paredes. “Now the day is here and we’re really excited…. These Games have put beach volleyball on the map. We’re ambassadors for the sport and we want to make sure there is global interest in the sport.”
Fellow Canadians Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow also won in straights sets, 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) against New Zealand’s Ben and Sam O’Dea.
“We have to focus on the things we have to do, know that we have to play our style of volleyball,” explained Sam Schachter, a 2016 Olympian with former partner Josh Binstock. “This is our first gold medal match at a major event – we’ve played big matches, but this is bigger…..The Australians (McHugh and Schumann) are dynamic athletes; they play a unique brand of offense where they spread the ball all over the court. We will have to be dynamic and react to everything.”
16.30 (local time) Gold Medal – Match 26: Christopher McHugh / Damien Schumann Australia vs. Sam Pedlow / Sam Schachter Canada
20.30 (local time) Gold Medal – Match 26: Mariafe Artacho / Taliqua Clancy Australia vs. Melissa Humana-Paredes / Sarah Pavan Canada
Note that the Gold Coast is 15 hours ahead of Eastern time.
Melissa Humana-Paredes, Toronto, Ontario
Sarah Pavan, Kitchener, Ontario
Coaching staff on site: Steve Anderson
Sam Schachter, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Sam Pedlow, Barrie, Ontario
Coaching staff on site: Ahren Cadieux