Photo Andreas Langreiter via Swatch Major Series
Photo Andreas Langreiter via Swatch Major Series

Saxton and Schalk earn beach bronze at Klagenfurt Major

In the lead up to Rio 2016, the Canadian duo of Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk won a bronze medal at the Klagenfurt Major, a FIVB Swatch Major Series stop in Austria.

In the bronze medal match, the Volleyball Canada duo headed to Brazil defeated Michal Bryl and Bartosz Losiak from Poland 2-1 (23-21, 17-21, 15-12), finishing the tournament in third place.

Saxton and Schalk went to the bronze medal match after a perfect campaign in the pool stage, with three victories over Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristausz-Telsnigg (Austria); Martins Plavins and Haralds Regza (Latvia); and fellow Canadians Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter.

In the elimination matches, Team Canada defeated the Brazilians Alvaro Filho and Vitor Felipe (21-15, 21-19) and the Norwegians Christian Sorum and Anders Mol (21-16, 18-21, 15-13).

The first loss of the tournament suffered by Saxton and Schalk was in the semifinal match, where Latvian duo of Samoilovs and Smedins J beat Canada 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-13).

This is the second bronze medal earned by Schalk and Saxton in a month. Earlier in July, the Canadian pair claimed third place medals at the Porec Major.

RELATED: Canada’s four beach teams for Rio 2016

Rio 2016 Olympians Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas; and Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter also represented Canada in the competition, along with Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke; and Sam Pedlow and Grant O’Gorman.