Rio de Janeiro, August 11, 2016 - Surprising Cubans Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez, looking to go unbeaten in pool D, clash against Canada's Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk to start off day six for the men. The Cubans have already advanced to the elimination stage, but Canada is tied with Latvia's Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins at 1-1 and needs a win coupled with a Latvia loss to guarantee advancing. A loss would leave Canada in sole possession of 3rd place if Latvia wins or in a three-way tie if Brazil wins.
Head to Head
The two teams have never played each other in FIVB World Tour competition.
Historically the #16 seed has won three of the four meetings against the #21 seed in the Olympic Games
• Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Ruslans Sorokins (16), Latvia def. Freedom Chiya/Grant Goldschmidt (21), South Africa, 21-13, 21-10 in 34 minutes, Pool Play, London (2012).
• Clemens Doppler/Peter Gartmayer (16), Austria def. Eugenio Amore/Riccardo Lione (21), Italy, 21-19, 24-22 in 43 minutes, Pool Play, Beijing (2008).
• Bjorn Berg/Simon Dahl (16), Sweden def. Raul Papaleo/Ramon Hernandez (21), Puerto Rico, 19-21, 21-16, 18-16 in 67 minutes, Pool Play, Athens (2004).
• Martin Lebl/Michal Palinek (21), Czech Republic def. Oliver Oetke/Andreas Scheuerpflug (16), Germany, 15-8 in 33 minutes, Contender's Bracket Round 2, Sydney (2000).
Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, Canada, Seed #16, Pool D, 1-1, 1.000 Set Ratio, 0.9813 Point Ratio, Qualified 16th with 4,820 Points in the 2015-16 Olympic qualification period
• Ben: November 21, 1988 (27y8m16d), 200 cm (6'7"), 92 kg (204 lbs.), Hometown Calgary, 79th FIVB World Tour event, $239,037 career winnings (ranks 88th)
• Chaim: April 23, 1986 (30y3m14d), 196 cm (6'5"), 88 kg (195 lbs.), Hometown Red Deer, Alberta, 59th FIVB World Tour event, $218,912 career winnings (ranks 94th)
• Ben and Chaim have been playing together since 2013. They are playing in their 47th FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together (ranks 58th), $433,825 career winnings (ranks 41st).
• Ben has played in five FIVB World Tour final fours with one silver medal and four bronze medals.
• Chaim has played in five FIVB World Tour final fours with one silver medal and four bronze medals.
• Ben and Chaim have played in four Final Fours in 2015-2016 (Silver Yokohama Grand Slam 2015, Bronze Olsztyn Grand Slam 2015, Bronze Porec Major 2016, Bronze Klagenfurt Major 2016).
• Ben and Chaim finished 5th in the FIVB World Championships in 2013 (Stare Jablonki) and 17th in 2015 (The Hague).
• Ben finished 17th in the FIVB World Championships with Christian Redmann in 2011 (Rome).
• Ben and Chaim are currently ranked 7th in FIVB World Tour points in 2016 with 4,400 points and 7th in winnings with $132,375.
• Ben and Chaim have a career 119-91 (56.7%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events and a 70-45 (60.9%) record in 2015-16.
• Ben and Chaim won two gold medals on the NORCECA Continental Tour in (2012 Chula Vista, United States) and (2014 Turtle Beach, Trinidad and Tobago).
• Ben teamed with Christian Redmann to help Canada win a NORCECA Continental Cup berth in the London 2012 Olympics, but the pair lost a match in Toronto that sent Josh Binstock and Martin Reader to the London Summer Games
• Lost to Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Latvia (9), 17-21, 21-18, and 13-15 in 55 minutes.
• Defeated Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Brazil (4), 17-21, 21-18, and 16-14 in 58 minutes.
Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez, Cuba, Seed #21, Pool D, 2-0, 2.000 Set Ratio, 1.0734 Point Ratio, Qualified through North, Central America and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA) Continental Cup
• Nivaldo: March 24, 1994 (22y4m13d), 200 cm (6'7"), 81 kg (180 lbs.), Hometown LA Habana, 2nd FIVB World Tour event, $5,500 career winnings
• Sergio: June 20, 1990 (26y1m17d), 192 cm (6'4"), 89 kg (198 lbs.), Hometown Holguin, 2nd FIVB World Tour event, $5,500 career winnings
• Nivaldo and Sergio are playing in their 2nd FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together, $11,000 career winnings.
• Nivaldo and Sergio finished 9th in the FIVB World Championships in 2015 (The Hague).
• Nivaldo and Sergio have a career 5-2 (71.4%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events, all in 2015-16.
• Nivaldo and Sergio won eight gold, one silver, and one bronze medal on the NORCECA Continental Tour from 2012-2014.
• Sergio has won seven gold, six silver, and two bronze medals on the NORCECA Continental Tour with Yaismel Borrel, Kinderlan Alvarez, and Karell Pena from 2009-2013.
• Sergio ranks 2nd all-time in NORCECA Continental Tour gold medals with 15 and Nivaldo ranks 5th with eight.
• Nivaldo and Sergio helped secure Cuba’s Rio berth with a 5-0 match mark in the NORCECA Continental Cup in Guaymas, Mexico
• Nivaldo and Sergio with one previous FIVB World Tour event each are tied with Tunisia's Choaib Belhaj and Mohamed Naceur as the least experienced men's players at the Rio Olympics.
• Defeated Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Brazil (4), 24-22, 21-23, and 15-13 in 59 minutes.
• Defeated Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Latvia (9), 23-21, 19-21, and 15-9 in 51 minutes.