Canada Qualifies 3 Beach Volleyball Teams for Rio

The Hamburg Major is still going on over in Germany, but today saw the exit of the last Canadian beach volleyball teams in the tournament.  It wasn't all bad news as three of those teams finally solidified their bids to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Kristina Valjas & Jaimie Broder.  Photo: FIVB

Kristina Valjas & Jaimie Broder.  Photo: FIVB

On the women's side, Kristina Valjas and Jamie Broder finished with a 17th.  They were currently sitting within the FIVB Top 16 going into this tournament and will remain eligible for a direct entry into Rio.

Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley entered the tournament ranked 5th in the world for Olympic Qualification.  They finished the tournament this morning with a 9th and will join their fellow Canadians on Copacabana Beach in August.

Heather Barnsley & Sarah Pavan.  Photo: FIVB

Heather Barnsley & Sarah Pavan.  Photo: FIVB

This is the first Olympic games that Canada has sent two women's teams.

On the men's side of the tournament, Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton also qualified for their first Olympic Games.  They were ranked 15th going in, and were eyeing finishes of teams from Germany & Mexico to make sure they made the cut.  Their 17th place finish will be enough to solidify them a spot in Rio as the first Canadian Men's beach volleyball team.

I say first because there is a strong chance a second team will be joining them.  Each of the five Continental Zones get to send a representative to Rio as well.  A tournament is held in each zone and the winning nation gets a spot at the Olympics.  This Continental Cup for the NORCECA zone is scheduled for June 21st in Mexico.  Two Canadian teams will compete together to secure that one last spot in Rio for Canada.  As it stands right now, those teams are looking like Josh Binstock & Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow & Grant O'Gorman.  If they were to win, there will be a trials held between those two teams to determine who gets to go to Rio.

Cover Photo: FIVB