Three-win day puts Bansley and Maloney in medal hunt on World Tour

PHUKET, Thailand – With their backs to the wall, Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto strung together three wins on Friday to remain in the medal hunt at the final stop on the FIVB beach volleyball World Tour circuit.

After losing one of their two matches on Thursday, the 18th seed Canadians were facing elimination but defeated Ekaterina Khomyakova and Anna Vozakova of Russia 15-21, 21-17, 15-12; ninth-seeds and home crowd favourite Kamoltip Kulna and Varapatsorn Radarong of Thailand 21-12, 21-13 and 13th seeds Lenka Hajeckova and Hana Klapalova of the Czech Republic 21-19, 21-18.

‘’We are still in it!,’’ tweeted Maloney. ‘’Three hard fought matches today to keep us in the tourney.’’

Bansley and Maloney emerged as Canada’s top international pair in 2011 They are 29th in the world rankings this season posting three top-10 finishes on the World Tour circuit and placing 17th at the world championships in Rome.

They can gain an Olympic berth automatically if they are ranked in the top-16 in the world on June 16, 2012.

They face a potential three-match day on Saturday, if they win their first two they will be in the semifinals. The medal matches are on Sunday.