In the clash of the top teams, this time Canada takes silver and second-seeded Alix Klineman and April Ross of USA claim gold in Doha, Qatar.
The number one pair in the world, Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) and Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) of Canada fought hard but came away with 2nd place in this meeting. They now have 11 World Tour medals in total.
Canada began the match strong, but halfway through the first set, Klineman and Ross reacted to a four-point breakaway by Pavan and Humana-Paredes with a five-point run of their own. And it was a battle for every point again, with frequent changes in the lead when finally, the Americans denied the first set point for the Canadians and April won the first set 22-20. The tight fight continued in the second set, but towards the end, the U.S. earned a 2-0 (22-20, 21-18) victory. Also today, Brazil’s Agatha/Duda won the bronze match over another U.S. team.
Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes are already qualified for Tokyo’s Olympics, based on their 2019 World Championship win over the same U.S. team of Klineman and Ross.
Canada’s Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley finished 9th in the standings. Canada’s men’s entry of Ben Saxton and Grant O’Gorman finished 25th in Doha.
This week, the FIVB announced the beach volleyball calendar for 2021, which will feature eight 4-star events, nine 1 and 2-star events, the World Tour Finals and the U19 World Championships.
Six of the eight 4-star events scheduled will offer Olympic ranking points, including the 4-star event in Doha, three back-to-back events in Cancun, Mexico from April 16 to May 2, one event in Sochi, Russia on 26-30 of May and one in Ostrava, Czech Republic on June 2-6. The Olympic Ranking will be officially published on 14th June to determine the 15 highest ranked teams per gender. These teams will earn a quota place for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, respecting the maximum of two quota places per National Olympic Committee.