Canada will have a second men’s beach volleyball team at Rio 2016.
In the FIVB World Continental Cup Tournament semifinals on Sunday, the Canadian squads of Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter and Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow needed a golden set after splitting their respective matches with the Venezuelan teams.
In the first match, Binstock/Schachter started strong but lost 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 15-13) to Rolando ‘Peter’ Hernandez/Jose ‘Tigrito’ Gomez.
Pedlow/O’Gorman then defeated Jesus Villafane/Jackson Henriquez 2-0 (21-15, 21-12), setting up a deciding set. In the the golden set, Pedlow/O’Gorman edged Hernandez/Henriquez 15-11 to earn Canada a Rio spot.
“We knew this tournament was going to be a challenge with everyone hoping to book the last two spots to Rio,” Pedlow told Volleyball Canada. “We came in just trying to play steady and build momentum as the event went on. I thought we did a great job of playing free and just going for it when the opportunities presented themselves.”
The victory in the final qualifier means Canada will have a maximum four teams over the men’s and women’s competition, joining Brazil, the United States and the Netherlands as the only nations with the maximum player quota qualified.
Binstock/Schachter and O’Gorman/Pedlow will decide who will join Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk in Rio in a play-off in North Bay, Ontario on July 16. The winning team will complete in Pool A with Alison/Bruno (BRA), Carambula/Ranghieri (ITA) and Doppler/Horst (AUT) in Rio.