Tough finish for Canadians Reader and Schalk at beach volleyball tour

PRAGUE – A marathon day for Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., and Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., didn’t end as planned on Wednesday as they just fell short in qualifying for the main draw at the sixth stop on the men’s beach volleyball World Tour circuit.

The Canadian pair played three matches all lasting more than 55 minutes including the two longest on the day.

The highlight for Reader and Schalk was upsetting Raul Mesa and Inocencio Lario Carillo of Spain, the fifth-seeds in qualifying, 18-21, 26-24, 17-15 in a match that last one hour and 19 minutes.

Reader and Schalk, in their first season together on the World Tour, opened with a hard fought victory over fellow Canadians Josh Binstock of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Matt Zbyszewski of Toronto 21-15, 13-21, 18-16 in 55 minutes.

In the third and final round of qualifying, Reader and Schalk were involved in another lengthy battle but this time couldn’t overcome 12th seed Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori of Japan who took the match 16-21, 21-17, 15-11 in 59 minutes.

Canada’s other entry Christian Redmann and Richard Van Huizen of Toronto lost in the second round to Australians Christopher McHugh and Joshua Slack 21-18, 21-14.

The next stop on the World Tour is a men’s and women’s event June 29 to July 4 in Stavanger, Norway.