Canada is sending a men’s beach volleyball team to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Will Comox’s Martin Reader be on that team?
Time will tell. More precisely, July 7 will tell.
Canada clinched an Olympic spot in men’s and women’s beach volleyball Saturday by winning both finals at the Continental Cup Games qualifying tournament in Mazatlan, Mexico.
The men’s team comprised of Reader and Josh Binstock (Toronto) and Christian Redmann (Toronto) and Ben Saxton of (Calgary) defeated Mexico 3-1 in the men’s final.
‘’This is just starting to sink in now, it is so exciting,’’ said an emotional Reader. ‘’We’ve received just so much support that we can’t thank everybody enough. We knew that Mexico would be tough in the final, and their A team was probably the strongest opponent we faced here.’’
The duo of Binstock/Reader sealed the spot to London by prevailing 2-1 (21-17, 11-21, 15-13) in a tough battle against Mexico’s Aldo Miramontes and Juan Virgen in the fourth match of the series.
Binstock/Reader opened the day with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) victory over Ulises and Rodolfo Ontiveros of Mexico-B, only to see Miramontes/Virgen coming back with a strong 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) showing against Redmann/ Saxton.
Redmann/Saxton edged the brothers Ontiveros 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) to set the stage for the final clash of the competition in front of around 2,500 spectators.
‘’That fourth match was probably the most pressure we’ve ever faced in our career,’’ said Binstock. ‘’We had our backs to the wall and 2,000 Mexican fans cheering against us. We were down almost the entire third set but like we’ve had so many times this season we found a way to get it done.’’
To decide which pair gets the Olympic spots, the two Canadian teams that combined forces in Mexico will now square off at the Canadian trials on July 7 at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto.
‘’Right now we are all celebrating the moment,’’ said Reader. ‘’On Monday morning when we return to Toronto it’ll be back to business,’’ said Reader.
“It will be a crazy match to see who goes,” he told the Record in an e-mail as he headed back to Canada.
In the women’s final, Canada with Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto as well as Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., beat Mexico in their final 3-0.
Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney paved the road to London with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-14) victory over the local pair of Vanessa Virgen and Martha Revuelta. Teammates Annie Martin and Marie Andree Lessard then took over following with victories over Mayra Garcia/Bibi Candelas 2-1 (21-18, 16-21, 15-12) and 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) against Virgen/Revuelta.