Rio de Janeiro, August 11, 2016 - Canada's Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk takes on Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel of Poland in a match of second chances to advance to the elimination stage for the two 3rd place pool finishers. Both the Canadians (pool D) and Poles (pool E) won one of their three pool play matches to finish 3rd and need to play in the "lucky loser" round to advance. The loser will finish 17th.
Head to Head
Saxton/Schalk has won four of the six meetings against Fijalek/Prudel dating back to 2013, but both teams have split their two matches in 2016.
• Saxton/Schalk won 21-17, 19-21, and 15-12 in 48 minutes, Poland Grand Slam, Round of 16, 06/18/2016
• Fijalek/Prudel won 24-26, 21-17, and 15-12 in 60 minutes, Vitória Open, Round of 24, 03/18/2016
• Saxton/Schalk won 22-20 and 27-25 in 44 minutes, Moscow Grand Slam, Pool Play, 05/28/2015
• Saxton/Schalk won 19-21, 22-20, and 20-18 in 62 minutes, São Paulo Grand Slam, Pool Play, 09/25/2014
• Saxton/Schalk won 14-21, 21-11, and 15-13 in 48 minutes, Gstaad Grand Slam, Pool Play, 07/11/2013
• Fijalek/Prudel won 21-19 and 21-18 in 39 minutes, The Hague Grand Slam, Round of 24, 06/14/2013
Historically the #16 seed has won the only meeting against the #17 seed in the Olympic Games
• Marek Pakosta/Michal Palinek (16), Czech Republic def. Miguel Prieto/Jose Yuste (17), Spain, 15-11 in 27 minutes, Round of 24, Atlanta (1996).
The higher seeds have won three of the four "lucky loser" round matches in Beijing (2008) and London (2012). This will be the first lucky loser match for both the #16 and #17 seeds. Canada lost its only lucky loser match as Italy's Danielle Lupo/Paolo Nicolai defeated Josh Binstock/Martin Reader, 21-16 and 22-20 in 38 minutes in London.
Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, Canada, Seed #16, Pool D, 1-2, 3rd Place, 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.
• Lost to Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez, Cuba (21), 15-21 and 18-21 in 35 minutes.
Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, Poland, Seed #17, Pool E, 1-2, 3rd Place, Qualified 14th with 4,920 Points in the 2015-16 Olympic qualification period
• Grzegorz: May 11, 1987 (29y2m26d), 186 cm (6'1"), 81 kg (180 lbs.), Hometown Wadowice, 84th FIVB World Tour event, one gold medal, $458,650 career winnings (ranks 40th)
• Mariusz: January 21, 1986 (30y6m16d), 191 cm (6'3"), 83 kg (184 lbs.), Hometown Rybnik, 90th FIVB World Tour event, one gold medal, $462,525 career winnings (ranks 39th)
• Grzegorz and Mariusz have been playing together since 2008. They are playing in their 84th FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together (ranks 15th), one gold medal, $917,300 career winnings (ranks 6th). They have played more FIVB World Tour events together than any other men's team participating in the Rio Olympics.
• Grzegorz has played in 16 FIVB World Tour final fours with one gold, four silver, five bronze medals and six 4th place finishes.
• Mariusz has played in 16 FIVB World Tour final fours with one gold, four silver, five bronze medals and six 4th place finishes.
• Grzegorz and Mariusz have played in three Final Fours in 2015-2016 (Bronze Stavanger Major 2015, 4th Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam 2016, Bronze Antalya Open 2016).
• Grzegorz and Mariusz finished 5th in the Olympic Games in 2012 (London).
• Grzegorz and Mariusz finished 5th in the FIVB World Championships in 2011 (Rome), 17th in 2013 (Stare Jablonki) and 17th in 2015 (The Hague).
• Grzegorz and Mariusz are currently ranked 11th in FIVB World Tour points in 2016 with 4,080 points and 13th in winnings with $102,750.
• Grzegorz and Mariusz have a career 261-163 (61.6%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events and a 65-42 (60.7%) record in 2015-16.
• Grzegorz and Mariusz won bronze medals at the European (CEV) Continental Championships in 2013 (Klagenfurt, Austria) and 2016 (Biel, Switzerland).
• Grzegorz won the bronze medal at the U19 World Championships with Michal Matyja in 2005 (Saint Quay Portrieux, France).
• Mariusz was named the FIVB World Tour Most Improved Player in 2011.
• Lost to Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov, Russia (8), 14-21 and 13-21 in 36 minutes.
• Lost to Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, Netherlands (5), 17-21, 21-19, and 9-15 in 47 minutes.
• Defeated Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt, Chile (20), 21-13, 16-21, and 15-11 in 56 minutes.