FIVB holds Olympic draw

 KLAGENFURT (July 19, 2012) – Canada’s Olympic pairs in beach volleyball found out who their round robin opponents will be at the Games tournament in London as the FIVB held the draw here on Thursday evening.

In men’s competition, Josh Binstock of Toronto and Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., are in pool F with John-Garcia Thompson and Steven Grotowski of Britain, Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos of Brazil and Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr of Norway.

Ricardo and Cunha are currently ranked third on the World Tour circuit this season with four medal performances including two wins.  The Norwegians are tied for 20th with two top-10 performances and Binstock and Reader stand at 41st on the circuit and posted a ninth place finish earlier this past spring at the Polish stop.  The British are ranked 51st.

On the women’s side, Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., are in Pool F as well with Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin of Britain, Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti of Italy and Ekaterina Khomyakova and Evgenia Ukolova of Russia.

Cicolari and Menegatti are the top-seed in the group at number-five on the World Tour this season and with three medals on the circuit.   The Russians are ranked 30th, the British pair 46th and Martin and Lessard 52nd.

 The 24 pairs in both the men’s and women’s competition are split equally into six pools, playing each team in their group, with the top two advancing to the knockout first round stage along with the two best third-placed teams.

The remaining four third-place teams will then compete in playoff matches to determine which pairs will fill the final two places in the first round.

The beach volleyball tournament gets underway on Saturday July 28.

Update on World Tour

The draw was held in Klagenfurt as it is the current stop on the FIVB World Tour circuit.  In action Thursday,  Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney completed their round robin with an 18-21, 24-22, 15-9 victory over Tanja Goricanec and Muriel Graessli of Switzerland to finish second in their pool.

In their first playoff match later Thursday, the Canadian pair lost to Louise Bawden and Becchara Palmer of Australia 21-17, 18-21, 15-9 and do not advance.

Men’s main draw action got underway and Christian Redmann of Toronto and Ben Saxton of Calgary lost their first two matches and are in a must-win situation Friday in order to advance to the playoff round.

The top team in each of the eight pools advances directly to the round of 16 while second and third play off for the other eight available spots in a one-match elimination.


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