The Canadian Beach Volleyball teams heading to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were officially announced earlier in the week by Team Canada and boasts an all-Ontario representation with the two duos of Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes and Heather Bansley & Brandie Wilkerson.
Sarah (Kitchener, ON) and Melissa (Toronto, ON) qualified to the Games back in 2019 following their FIVB Beach World Championship victory in Hamburg, Germany against April Ross and Alix Klineman of the United States. The performance marked the first time that a Canadian beach team won a World Championship. The duo will go into the Games as the number one team in the FIVB Olympic Ranking.
For Heather (Waterdown, ON) and Brandie (Toronto, ON), their tickets to the Games weren’t secured until June after the points they accumulated through various FIVB events from 2018 to 2021 culminated in an eighth-place finish in the FIVB Beach Volleyball Olympic Ranking. Currently, they sit at the number nine spot leading into Tokyo.
The 2020 Olympics will be the second Games for Pavan and Bansley who both competed at Rio 2016; although five years ago, it was as a team where they finished the tournament in fifth and tied Canada’s best female performance at the Games with Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin who did the same at Athens ins 2004. Five years later, they return to the biggest stage of them all with different partners, each having made Canadian history in between.
The 2020 Tokyo Beach Volleyball tournament preliminaries will take place July 24 to 31 with the elimination round beginning the first week of August and ending the medal matches on Saturday, August 7.
Draws for the pools were recently announced by the FIVB with Sarah/Melissa competing in Pool A alongside Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Heather/Brandie will be in Pool C with Brazil, China and Argentina.
Read the full story from the FIVB.
The Tokyo 2020 Beach Volleyball tournament will be held at Shiokaze Park. The picture is a concept image from the Olympic website.