2017-11-10 18:10:00 CET
Big changes for two of the Swatch Major Series’ most popular players
As Ben Saxton wrote in his Sax on the Beach blog earlier in the season, “One hundred per cent of unions will come to an end”.
And now the time has come, after four years and one Olympic Games together, that Canadian team Saxton/Schalk has, indeed, come to its conclusion.
The duo twice claimed podium spots during the Swatch Major Series tours, with bronze medals at the Poreč Major and A1 Major Klagenfurt in 2016.
However, after a 2017 season that saw the team struggle for consistency – despite a brilliant fifth place finish in the World Championships that saw them knockout Alison/Bruno along the way – the pair have called time on their partnership.
Talking to the Volleyball Source Daytime podcast, Chaim – who holds dual citizenship and is married to American beach player Lane Carico – revealed that he will now play for the American federation – while 28-year-old Ben will partner Grant O’Gorman for the 2018 season.
“Ben and I had a good run and I’m proud of what we did,” Schalk, 31, said in the podcast, which you can watch, below. “We had many good results and we had a really good team in terms of friendship and the competitive level.
“But half-way through the season I felt the writing was on the wall and we weren’t heading in the direction where I wanted to go.
“That brought up the question, ‘if this is no longer the path, where do I want to be?’
“I’m still young and I want to be playing beach volleyball for a long time and I was considering every option. One of those was the fact I hold dual citizenship and competing and changing federations. That was something I looked at seriously and the point is now that I’ve made the decision to switch to play for the US.”
Schalk, who has yet to reveal who he will partner with, added: “It’s a tough decision but one I think will benefit me in the long-term.”
In total the duo played 55 World Tour events together, winning one silver and four bronze medals.
Thanks for the memories boys, but we’re looking forward to seeing you both next season – albeit with new partners – and we’ll never forget the infamous chest-bump reenactment in Toronto!
Watch the full podcast, thanks to the guys at Volleyball Source:
Chaim Schalk joins us on the Daytime Podcast to chat about his future in beach volleyball!