2016-08-22 11:14:00 CET
All eyes will be on home heroes
The countdown is well and truly on for the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals and all eyes will be on the hometown heroes in Toronto next month.
And after a fantastic fortnight on the Copacabana the men’s and women’s teams from Canada will be eyeing glory in front of their fervent fanbase in front of the stunning Toronto skyline.
Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk have been in fine form on the FIVB World Tour in recent months, having picked up two third-place finishes in two of the last three Swatch Major Series stops. The duo scooped third in Poreč and followed that up with another place on the podium at the A1 Major Klagenfurt. Their hopes of another top-three finish in Brazil, however, came to an end in the last 16, losing to Dutch duo Brouwer/Meeuwsen.
Another Canadian force to be reckoned with are Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley. The pair skipped Klagenfurt to prepare for Brazil and they went all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions Ludwig/Walkenhorst. For the second successive year they finished second in Poreč – but can Sarah and Heather – fourth at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale last year – add to their collection in front of their Canadian fans?
Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas were beaten by fellow countrywomen Pavan/Bansley in the last 16 on the Copacabana but they are certainly no slouches when it comes to the world of beach volleyball – and the same can be said for fellow Brazilian qualifiers Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter.
Canadian beach volleyball has never been so strong and after such an encouraging two weeks on the Copacabana, nobody will rule out victory for the hosts in Toronto.
But first they all have to qualify and this week’s Long Beach Grand Slam will go a long way to deciding that…
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