Canadians Fall Short of Bronze Medal at SWATCH FIVB U19 Youth World Championships

In the final eight late Saturday at the SWATCH FIVB U19 Youth World Championships in Porto, Portugal, the 18th seeded Canadian team of Nick del Bianco of Surrey, B.C and Toronto’s Garrett May upset fourth-seeds Andrey Bolgov and Ruslan Bykanov of Russia 2-0 (21-14, 22-20), to advance to the semifinals. Earlier that morning, in the round of 16, they had defeated eighth-seeds Tiziano Andreatta and Michele Barratto of Italy 2-1, (18-21, 21-12, 15-11) to advance into the quarterfinals.

The Canadians, who were 5-0 in tournament play, then had to face the number-24 seeded Artem Kuchurenko and Maxim Anufriev also of Russia in Sunday’s semifinal. They lost a heart breaker 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-13).

Del Bianco-May were vaulted into the bronze medal match against the high ranked, third-seeded team from Germany, Lorenz Schümann and Dominik Stork, and they quickly fell, losing 2-0 (10-21, 19-21).

Gold went to Poland’s fifth-seeded Kantor-Losiak in a dramatic three-set marathon match, over Russia’s Anufriev-Kuchernko (17-21, 21-19 and 15-11) in 59 minutes in front of a full stadium of enthusiastic fans.

The other Canadian men team of Aaron Nusbaum of Aurora, Ont., and Grant O’Gorman of Toronto (23rd seeds) were 6-0 through qualifying and main draw play before Saturday’s losing match. Kuchurenko and Anufriev eliminated Nusbaum-O’Gorman 2-0, (21-17, 23-21) in the round of 16.

In women’s competition, 19th seeds Jennifer Cross, and Melissa Humana-Paredes, both of Toronto, were also eliminated in the round 16, falling to 11th seeds Rebecca Silva and Juliana Simoes of Brazil 0-2 (21-12, 22-20). Cross and Humana-Paredes finished 2-2 overall.