New Canadian pair quickly polishing its game on beach volleyball World TourMYSLOWICE, Poland (April 26, 2012)– Canadian Olympic hopefuls Josh Binstock of Toronto (in photo) and Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., are making giant strides this week at the second stop on the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball circuit.
After stringing together three straight wins in the qualifying round on Wednesday, Binstock and Reader are still alive after the first day of the main draw on Thursday.
The first-year pair lost to third-seeds Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira of Spain 21-16, 25-23. Then for their first repechage, Canada’s opponents from Russia withdrew due to injury. They will face another Russian pair on Friday morning at the double elimination format tournament.
‘’They (Spain) came out pretty strong but we were able to adapt and had a back and forth match with them,’’ said Binstock. ‘’They were able to squeak it out at the end but we definitely gave them a good match.
‘’Our confidence is high right now. We’re getting a lot of experience. We are fighting hard with these tough matches.’’
Binstock admitted still feeling the effects from Wednesday’s marathon which required almost three hours of total play time. In addition Reader in battling a painful toe injury suffered at last week’s season opener.
‘’We are definitely sore,’’ Binstock said. ‘’But going into today we put it aside and by the time the warm-up started the adrenaline took over. Martin taped up the toe and battled through it. With Olympic qualifying on the line we have to be here and to see Martin play through the injury says a lot about his toughness and character.’’
So far, the pair is delighted with the decision to unite their forces for the 2012 season.
‘’We’re just getting better with every match,’’ Binstock said. ‘’Our communication is very open which probably helps us improve and progress fast. It usually takes along time with new teams to get that chemistry but we made it a point to be constructive with our feedback.’’
Meanwhile in Sanya, China, Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto rebounded from an opening round loss to remain in medal contention on Thursday at the second stop on the FIVB beach volleyball circuit.
Bansley and Maloney, the only Canadians in the main draw, lost their opening match to Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands 21-18, 21-13. It’s the second week in a row the Dutch women have defeated Bansley and Maloney.
However in their repechage match, the Canadians beat Natasha Rigobert and Elodie Yi Luk Lo of Mauritius 21-10, 21-12. The tournament is a double elimination format which means you must lose twice to be eliminated.
The World Tour is also important important for Bansley and Maloney in accumulating Olympic qualifying points. If they are ranked in the top-16 they will get a ticket to London. Another victory and they would improve upon last week’s 17th place finish.
More information: www.fivb.org