Canadians del Bianco and May reach final four at world youth championships

PORTO, Portugal – Nick del Bianco of Surrey, B.C., and Garrett May of Toronto (photo) advanced to the semifinals with two more victories on Saturday at the beach volleyball world youth championships.

In the round of 16 Saturday morning, del Bianco and May, seeded 18th, defeated eighth-seeds Tiziano Andreatta and Michele Barratto of Italy 18-21, 21-12, 15-11 to advance to the quarterfinals. In the final eight later Saturday, del Bianco and May upset fourth-seeds Andrey Bolgov and Ruslan Bykanov of Russia 21-14, 22-20.

The Canadians, now 5-0 in tournament play, face number-24 Artem Kuchurenko and Maxim Anufriev of Russia in Sunday’s semifinal. The final is also on Sunday.

Kuchurenko and Anufriev eliminated 23rd seeds Aaron Nusbaum of Aurora, Ont., and Grant O’Gorman of Toronto 21-17, 23-21 in the round of 16. Nusbaum and O’Gorman were 6-0 through qualifying and main draw play before Saturday’s match.

In women’s competition, 19th seeds Jennifer Cross and Melissa Humana-Paredes, both of Toronto, were eliminated in the round 16 as well falling to 11th seeds Rebecca Silva and Juliana Simoes of Brazil 21-12, 22-20. Cross and Humana-Paredes were 2-2 this week.