FIVB Beach Volleyball U23 World Championship

Press release

Canadians and Belgians dream of second chances in Sochi

Grant O'Gorman (left) and Sam Pedlow are in Sochi to claim the second Olympic ticket for Canada

Sochi, Russia, July 6, 2016 – It’s all about second chances and opportunities this week in Sochi. In the Russian Black Sea resort nineteen countries, ten in the men’s and nine in the women’s, fight for the four remaining berths, two per gender, for the Rio Olympic Games.

One of the countries participating at the FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification is Canada, who’s eyeing a second Olympic ticket as Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton already qualified through the FIVB World Tour Olympic ranking.

At the NORCECA Continental Cup final two weeks ago Josh Binstock & Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow & Grant O’Gorman missed out on a second olympic spot for Canada by losing the final to Cuba. But by finishing second they earned a second, but this time final, chance to qualify.

In Sochi the Canadians were off to a flying start on Wednesday in pool A with a clean 2-0 victory over Venezuela, who also finished second at the CSV Continental Cup final at the end of June.

Binstock, who is the only Canadian in this team who competed at the Olympics before (17th at the 2012 Olympic Games with Martin Reader), and Schachter defeated the Youth Olympics silver medallists Rolando ‘Peter’ Hernandez and Jose ‘Tigrito’ Gomez 21-19, 21-14. Pedlow and O’Gorman beat Jesus Villafane and Jackson Henriquez 21-10, 21-19 in the second match.

“The first set we opened up a big lead and we carried it through”, said O’Gorman. “In the second set they challenged us well with good hits and blocking. The difference was the serving at the end for us. We threw a couple of sky balls in and Sam dominated at the net. It was a perfect plan.”

The Canadians had no difficulty regrouping after losing the very tight final to Cuba at the NORCECA Olympic qualifying event just a few days ago, Pedlow said.

“No, I think it was part of the process. We understood we had an opportunity. And if we didn’t grab that opportunity we had to refocus with our coach for a week of training and come down here, where we have another opportunity this week to qualify.”

O’Gorman added: “And they (Cuba) played very well, Good for them!” Another country eyeing the ‘last opportunity’ tickets to Rio is Belgium. Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle had no problems against Juan Revuelta and Ricardo Galindo from Mexico (21-13, 21-9) and Bob Douwen and Aljosa Urnaut defeated the silver medallists of the FIVB U21 World Championships, Jose Luis Rubio and Josue Gaston Gaxiola, 21-17, 21-12.

A remarkable win for Urnaut, who was summoned at the last moment to partner up with Douwen as a replacement for Robin Adriaensen, who played with Douwen at the CEV Continental Cup final in Stavanger. Urnaut: “I was in Croatia on holiday when I got the call last Tuesday. But I said, why not, so here I am. I just got back from vacation.”

Unlike Koekelkoren and Van Walle, Douwen and Urnaut are not beach professionals. Both play volleyball and their only beach experience is on the Belgium tour. But they are more than willing to help their fellow countrymen to the Olympics, Urnaut said.

So the tall blocker was very pleased with their first win on Wednesday. “It was not easy though. It was very hot and it had also been a while since I touched a ball, maybe three weeks. And it was the first time I ever played with Bob as well. But hey, we won smoothly, so I think it’s ok.”

The Belgians booked another win, as Sierra Leone forfeited, and are now leading pool B. Pool play continues on Thursday with best-of-three matches. The pool winners advance to the semifinals, the numbers two and three battle for the other two semifinal spots.

The winners of the semifinals earn a ticket for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It is up to the country federation to decide which team is going to Rio de Janeiro. For Belgium it’s clear, Koekelkoren and Van Walle, Canada stages a play-off on July 16 to decide who’s on the Olympic team.

Quick links:

FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification - Website
Men - Results/Schedule
Women - Results/Schedule

Download highresolution


| More

More press releases

10.07.2016 21:26:42
Russian women delighted with ‘last chance’ ticket to Rio
Sochi, Russia, July 10, 2016 – On home turf, at the FIVB World Continental Cup in Sochi, Russia grabbed their last chance to qualify a women’s team fo... More...
10.07.2016 15:00:30
Canadian men claim Olympic ticket in Sochi
Sochi, Russia, July 10, 2016 – Josh Binstock, Sam Schachter, Grant O’Gorman and Sam Pedlow won a berth for the Rio Olympic Games for Canada on Sunday ... More...
10.07.2016 13:45:49
Czech women bound for Rio instead of holidays
Sochi, Russia, July 10, 2016 – The Czech Republic women claimed one of the two remaining Olympic tickets at the FIVB World Continental Cup on Sunday w... More...
09.07.2016 22:06:05
Russia and Czech Republic complete women’s final four in Sochi
Sochi, Russia, July 9, 2016 – Russia and the Czech Republic completed the women’s final four of the FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification b... More...
09.07.2016 20:20:55
Russia and Venezuela one win away from Rio
Sochi, Russia, July 9, 2016 – Russia and Venezuela advanced to the all-deciding semi-finals of the FIVB World Continental Cup by defeating Mexico and ... More...
09.07.2016 13:41:36
Belgium and Canada top men’s pools in Sochi
Sochi, Russia, July 9, 2016 – The Belgian and Canadian men are one win away from the Rio Olympic Games. Both countries finished on top of their pool u... More...
08.07.2016 21:42:12
China and Austria pool winners in Sochi
Sochi, Russia, July 8, 2016 – China and Austria topped their pool on Friday at the FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualifier and are one win away f... More...
08.07.2016 21:14:09
Ukraine’s Valentyna Davidova: the Olympics are like magic
Sochi, Russia, July 8, 2016 - Ukraine’s Valentyna Davidova and Ievgeniia Schchypkova are running on their last fumes, but together with team mates Inn... More...
08.07.2016 19:30:44
Canada and Russia all set for pool win decider
Sochi, Russia, July 8, 2016 – Canada and Russia will have a pool win ‘showdown’ on Saturday since both countries remained unbeaten on Friday at the FI... More...
08.07.2016 14:59:21
Mexican men step up to the plate and defeat Uruguay
Sochi, Russia, July 8, 2016 – Mexico took an important step on Friday towards the knockout rounds of the FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualifier.... More...
07.07.2016 20:29:33
Russian men confident and in control at Olympic Qualifier in Sochi
Sochi, Russia, July 7, 2016 – Rio de Janeiro is coming closer and closer for Russia as the men booked another win on Thursday at the FIVB World Contin... More...
07.07.2016 19:15:47
Three would be a charm for China’s Chen Xue
Sochi, Russia, July 7, 2016 – With two straight wins on Thursday the Chinese women showed their strength at the FIVB World Continental Cup in Sochi. I... More...
06.07.2016 18:13:15
Russia stirs up women’s teams in final attempt to make it to Rio
Sochi, Russia, July 6, 2016 – The pressure is on, this week at the FIVB World Continental Cup in Sochi. Especially for host country Russia. This is th... More...
06.07.2016 12:15:34
Four Olympic beach volleyball tickets up for grabs in Sochi
Sochi, Russia, July 6, 2016 – The stakes are high this week in Sochi, as nineteen countries seek Olympic qualification at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Wo... More...
13.06.2016 17:31:47
Germany name teams for Continental Cup showdown
Berlin, Germany, June 13, 2016 – Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik and Alexander Walkenhorst/Stefan Windscheif have been named as the two teams that will b... More...
07.04.2016 22:25:43
Continental Cup Finals dates confirmed
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 7, 2016 - The FIVB Board of Administration received a confirmation of the Olympic Beach Volleyball qualification process ... More...
24.03.2016 12:42:01
Countdown to Rio as Continental Cup resumes
Lausanne, Switzerland, March 24, 2016 – Five teams per gender will realise their Olympic dreams this year by qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Ol... More...
04.11.2015 11:07:56
Continental Cup back underway as Rio dream draws closer
Lausanne, Switzerland, November 4, 2015 – The FIVB Continental Cup will come back into focus over the next few months as each Confederation begins the... More...
07.10.2015 11:00:17
FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification tournament to take place in Russia
Lausanne, Switzerland, October 7, 2015 - The International Volleyball Federation is pleased to announce that the FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qu... More...
11.05.2015 19:19:36
Zemljak making a difference in Slovenian beach volleyball
Lorca, Spain, May 11, 2015 - Passion for sport often leads volleyball and beach volleyball enthusiasts to unexpected destinations. While many sport lo... More...
19.06.2014 15:24:02
Continental Cup returns with renewed vigour
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 19, 2014 - FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° has played a key role in providing an expanded set of opportunities for the ... More...