Tokyo 2020 wraps up for Canadian volleyball teams
Aug. 04, 2021: Canada finishes its Tokyo Olympic beach volleyball run with two teams ranked fifth at these Games. This is the first time that Canada has had two teams in quarterfinal matches at the same Olympics.
Two tie-break matches ended the teams’ bid for the semis. In the first quarterfinal of the evening session in Tokyo last night, Heather Bansley (Waterdown, ON) and Brandie Wilkerson (Toronto, ON) fell to Graudina/Kravcenoka of Latvia in a tie-break 21-13, 18-21, 15-11.
“I think it will take some time to reflect and recount what we’ve accomplished. I’m so grateful to be here with Brandie and for the five years we committed together and to our whole team,” said Bansley
Wilkerson reflected on Canada having two teams in the mix in Tokyo: “I’m so happy that the world will remember and see this. All four women have known this was coming for quite some time and we’ve been working for years. We’ve been putting ourselves out there financially, physically and mentally to represent our country, and I’m hoping for women in sport it will inspire them and inspire Canadians to pursue beach volleyball as a summer sport.”
Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) and Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) lost to Australia’s Artacho Del Solar/Clancy, also in three sets: 15-21 21-19 12-15 in the second evening match.
“At this point in the tournament, you’re going to play incredible teams, and Australia is an incredible team. We prepared just as hard, just as good and we were feeling ready for this match. And it just didn’t manifest in this game, and I’m not sure why,” said Humana-Paredes. The Canadians had defeated this team for gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
“We fought all tournament and all season; today was no exception,” said Pavan. “Melissa and I have done some amazing things together – winning World Championships (2019) is incredible and maintaining a world number-one ranking for as long as we have is difficult. We have been a very solid, consistent team for four or five years. I think we have something really special, and we’ve really taken the time to invest in our relationship and that will serve us in the long run.”
Men’s Team (corrected ranking)
As reported, Canada’s men’s indoor ended its Olympic run with a 0-3 (21-25, 28-30, 22-25) loss to the team of the Russian Olympic Committee earlier on Tuesday in Tokyo. After the quarterfinals, the eliminated men’s teams were ranked between fifth and eighth, with Canada ending up eighth based on the team’s record. Standings are posted here: https://bit.ly/3A7oEEf
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