COSTA RICA and Canada punched their tickets to the Olympic Games by capturing the gold medals in the fourth and final round of the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) beach volleyball qualifying series Sunday night in Mexico.
Both countries came from behind to score 3-1 victories in the finals of the four-day tournament. Cuba defeated Canada for the men’s crown, while Costa Rica denied Mexico for the women’s title.
The Cubans and hosts Mexico finished the tournament with two medals each as they also picked up bronze.
Cuba’s women outclassed Guatemala 3-0 for third place, while Mexico’s men nosed out Puerto Rico 3-2.
The silver and bronze-medallists still have a chance to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August, as the runners-up and third-placed finishers from all five zones – Asian Volleyball Confederation, African Volleyball Confederation, European Confederation, South American Confederation, NORCECA – will play for another place next month in Russia.
T&T’s women’s team of Ayana Dyette and Malika Davidson and Abby Blackman and Rheeza Grant were edged 3-2 by Nicaragua for fifth place on Sunday, while Caribbean neighbours Jamaica and Barbados were seventh and eighth, respectively, among the 12 participants.
Although the Daneil Williams/Simon Blake and Christian Francois/Colin Bernard outfits reached the quarterfinals, T&T men failed to finish in the top eight.
The Nicaraguans, who were edged 3-2 by T&T in the “round of 16”, eventually finished fifth with a 2-1 victory over St Lucia, while Costa Rica whipped El Salvador 2-0 for seventh place.