Smashing start for Binstock and Reader at Olympics

 LONDON (July 28, 2012) – Josh Binstock of Toronto and Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., served a lesson to British pair John Garcia-Thompson and Steven Grotowski with a 21-19, 21-13 victory to open the men’s beach volleyball tournament.

The first set stayed close from start to finish however the Canadians almost always had the lead.  The British only held 1-0, 11-10 and 14-13 leads.  The rest of the set was tied or Binstock and Reader were ahead.

The set finished in spectacular fashion with an 18-play rally, the longest of the entire match, was capped by a smash by Reader which went off the hand of Garcia-Thompson.

‘’Winning the first set gave us a lot of momentum and was the turning point in the match,’’ said Reader.  ‘’It was exhausting but we are proud of our performance.’’

The second set was much different as Canada’s service game completely baffled the British pair. Consecutive aces by Reader and another by Binstock a few plays later put Canada up for good at 7-2.

Binstock finished with one ace, 11 kills and 12 digs while Reader contributed 5 aces, 14 kills, one block and nine digs. 

"We started how we wanted, but we needed to generate some more pressure on the serves,’’ said Grotowski.  ‘’We missed a few chances at the end of the first set and that enabled Canada to take the set."

Binstock felt a bit bad to disappoint the home crowd.

“It’s hard because they are great people and we like them as friends,’’ he said. ‘’It can help to creative motivation when you don’t like your opponents, but that was not the case.  They are stand-up class acts and we didn’t like disappointing their home-country fans, but we really appreciated all the supports from all the Canadians who were in the crowd.”

In the same group play Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos of Brazil defeated Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr of Norway 21-14, 21-18.  The Canadians face the Norwegians on Monday at 11 a.m. London time.

On Sunday, women’s beach volleyball action gets underway and matches include Annie Martin of Sherbooke, Que., and Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que.,versus Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin of Britain.



Canadian beach volleyball schedule (all times EDT in Canada)



July 29


11:30 a.m.: Annie Martin and Marie-Andrée Lessard CAN vs Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin GBR


July 30


6 a.m.: Binstock and Reader vs Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr NOR


July 31


3 p.m.: Martin and Lessard vs Ekaterina Khomyakova and Evgenia Ukolova, RUS


August 1


3 p.m.: Binstock and Reader vs Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos BRA


August 2


7 a.m.: Martin and Lessard vs Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti ITA