Beach: Saxton and Schalk finish ninth in their first major tournament of the season

After advancing nicely from their pool and beating Germany earlier today, Canada’s Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton lost a tight match  (21-19, 21-19) to an American team, and finish ninth overall at the Shanghai Grand Slam in China.

“This was a good start to our 2014 season,” said Schalk. “We played at a consistent high level and are getting closer to our goal, which is to be a medal threat at every event. The loss we had to the Americans Gibb and Patterson was tough as we battled back and forth the whole match but were not able to close. We look forward to tweaking a few technical aspects as we prepare for our next Grand Slam.”

Schalk, of Red Deer, Alta., and Saxton, of Calgary, will compete in their next FIVB event next month in Moscow.

Canada’s team in the women’s main draw, Jamie Broder of Victoria, BC, and Kristina Valjas of Toronto, ended up 25th in Shanghai. Caleigh Whitaker and Kacie MacTavish did not qualify for the main draw.

On the men’s side, Sam Pedlow and Grant O'Gorman - who finished ninth last week at the Fuzhou Open in China - and Christian Redmann and Maverick Hatch did not move into the main draw in Shanghai.

Full results and photos at

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