2018-10-29 01:39:00 CEST
The Canadians won back-to-back World Tour golds as they topped the podium in Chetumal
Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson stepped up to the top of the World Tour podium for the second-straight week as the Canadians, who currently lead the world rankings, took home the gold medal of the three-star women-only event in Chetumal, Mexico.
Heather and Brandie, who had won gold also the week before in the four-star tournament in Las Vegas, were dominant through the entire week and confirmed their status as favorites by downing American qualifiers Caitlin Ledoux and Geena Urango in two sets (21-12, 21-13) to claim gold in Mexico – their third in 2018.
The Canadians earned 600 points to count towards their Olympic qualification rankings.
“It’s been long two weeks, we’re exhausted, but we really wanted to win today, that was our goal coming here,” Heather commented. “We came here to get some valuable Olympic qualification points and this is a big win for us. The fans were amazing, they pushed us all the way to the final and it was a really special tournament.”
Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat reached the podium in just their second tournament as a team after the veterans prevailed over the Canadian twins Megan and Nicole McNamara in three sets (16-21, 21-8, 15-10).
“I’m very proud,” Kerri stated. “It’s just our second tournament and we are still figuring out how to play with each other. Losing always hurts, but for us to be able to come back and win our first medal against a very good team, it’s really special. We hope we can keep improving and winning more medals.”
The final stop of the World Tour in 2018 will be a double-gender one-star indoor event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from November 29 to December 2.
USA and Puerto Rico on top at NORCECA
The weekend also had beach volleyball action in Martinique, with the final stop of the North, Central America and Caribbean Tour, which had teams from the USA and Puerto Rico as the winners.
The Americans prevailed in the women’s event with the team of Karissa Cook and Katie Spieler claiming gold after a three-set (21-18, 20-22, 15-12) victory over Canada’s Sophie Bukovec and Alexandra Poletto. Canada also had a team finishing third with Amanda Harnett and Marie-Christine Lapointe defeating Puerto Rico’s Maria Gonzalez and Allanis Navas in the three-set (18-21, 21-11, 15-13) bronze medal match.
Among the men, Puerto Ricans Cristian Encarnacion and Juan Ribas came out on top as they prevailed over Americanas Travis Mewhirter and Ben Vaught also in three sets (16-21, 21-17, 15-10) in the gold medal match. Trinidad & Tobago claimed bronze after Daynte Stewart and Daneil Williams beat El Salvador’s Carlos Escobar and David Vargas in straight sets (21-13, 21-18).