Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 - With Canadian having a full complement of Beach Volleyball teams for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the country’s top’s women’s pair of Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan started their quest for a medal successfully with a convincing two-set Pool E win over Jantine van der Vlist and Sophie van Gestel of The Netherlands.
With the match being the first international meeting between the two teams, Bansley and Pavan posted a 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) win in 40 minutes over the Dutch pair. While the Canadians qualified for the Rio Games via the FIVB World Tour, van der Vlist and van Gestel were part of winning team that secured a second women’s berth on Copacabana for the Netherlands at June’s European Continental Cup competition in Norway.
Van der Vlist and van Gestel led only five times in the match at 1-0, 2-1 and 8-7 in the first set, and 1-0, 2-1 in the second set as Bansley and Pavan cruised their victory as the pair seeks to become the first Canadian women’s team to reach the Olympic medal rounds.
John Child and Mark Heese accomplished the feat for Canada at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Games with a bronze medal finish. The best finish for a Canadian women’s team in the Olympics was a fifth by Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin at the Athens 2004 quadrennial.
Both teams return to Pool E action Tuesday with Bansley and Pavan playing Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland with van der Vlist and van Gestel challenging Karla Borger/Britta Buthe of Germany.