Canada stuns U.S. in men’s volleyball at Rio 2016

Canada surprised the fifth-ranked United States with a 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 straight sets victory in a rollicking affair at Rio.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Canada’s men’s volleyball team may have lulled the competition in to a false sense of confidence.

The Canadians defeated the United States 3-0 in the men’s volleyball opener for both teams Sunday at the Rio Games. This is Canadian team’s first Olympic appearance since the 1992 Barcelona Games.

The 12th-ranked Canadians converted their first match point for a 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 upset win over the No. 5 Americans.

“You never expect a victory quite like that,” said Canadian opposite spiker Gavin Schmitt. “But we know that we can play very well and if we focused on our own game, really took it to them and played aggressive then we had a good chance of beating them.”

The United States made 10 service faults in the opening game. Canada closed out the second set on a 10-2 run with Nick Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., sealing it with an ace.

Canada will continue preliminary round play Tuesday against top-ranked Brazil.

Canadian divers Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware opened the Rio Olympics with a gut-wrenching result in the women’s three-metre synchronized event.

The duo finished fourth, less than one point behind bronze medallists Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith of Australia. Abel, from Laval Que., and Ware of Greenfield Park, Que., were the silver medallists at last year’s world championship. Abel also captured bronze in the event at the London Games four years ago with the now-retired Emilie Heymans.

“We felt good, we had good practices,” Abel said. “Unfortunately, our competition wasn’t at the same level as our performance in training. It’s unfortunate because we missed the podium by less than one point.

“At the same time, we have to look at it from the positive side. Yes, we’re capable of doing much better, yes we have another four years ahead of us. These are also the first games for Pamela (Ware), so we have to underline that.”

Chinese pair Shi Tingmao and Wu Minxia won the gold with a score of 345.60 while Italians Tania Cagnotto and Frencesca Dallape were second with 313.83 and the Aussies scored 299.19. Abel and Ware finished with 298.32.

Canadian judoka Antoine Bouchard lost to Japan’s Masashi Ebinuma in the 66-kilogram bronze-medal match at the Rio Olympics.

The 21-year-old Bouchard had to beat Mongolia’s Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj in a repechage to advance to the third-place bout after losing his quarter-final to Slovenia’s Adrian Gomboc earlier in the day. Bouchard took the repechage over Davaadorj by waza-ari.

The Jonquiere, Que., native started his day with three straight wins, including a stunning victory in the round of 32 over Russia’s Mikhail Puliaev, a silver medallist at the 2014 and 2015 world championships.

Bianca Farella and Ghislaine Landry scored late tries to lead Canada past France 15-5 in the quarter-finals of the women’s rugby sevens Olympic tournament.

Kayla Moleschi tied it 5-5 for Canada in the first half after France’s Jade Le Pesq opened the scoring. Canada will face Australia, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, on Monday in the semifinal.

High winds continued to plague the Olympic rowing competition as racing was called off for the day due to turbulent water.

Race officials initially pushed back the start of Sunday’s program at Lagoa Stadium but were eventually forced to postpone competition for the day. Canada was to have four boats competing in heats and repechage rounds: the men’s lightweight four, women’s pair, women’s lightweight double sculls and men’s four.


Article written by the Canadian Press.