June 12th, 2024

Humana-Paredes, Wilkerson lock in Olympic beach volleyball berth in Ostrava

By The Canadian Press on June 9, 2024.

Canadian beach volleyball duo Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson finished second in the World Pro Tour's Ostrava Elite 16 on Sunday with a loss to reigning world champions Kelly Cheng and Sarah Hughes of the United States. Humana-Paredes, left, and Wilkerson react during the gold medal beach volleyball final against Brazil at the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

OSTRAVA, Czechia – Canadian beach volleyball duo Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson finished second in the World Pro Tour’s Ostrava Elite 16 on Sunday with a loss to reigning world champions Kelly Cheng and Sarah Hughes of the United States.

Toronto’s Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson, who secured their Olympic berth to Paris via their ranking, were defeated 13-21, 23-21,12-15 by the Americans.

The Canadians swept Latvia’s TÄ«na Graudiņa and Anastasija Samoilova 21-18, 21-18 in Sunday’s earlier semifinals.

“We are so proud to finish our Olympic qualification with a medal,” Humana-Paredes said. “We fought all week long, and things are clicking. We fell short in the finals by a couple points, but there is so much good to take from this and it’s always a battle with Kelly and Sara.”

Cheng and Hughes ranked fifth in the world ahead of the Canadians at No. 6.

Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson earned their spot in Paris by ranking among the world’s top 17 teams based on their best dozen results in tournaments between Jan. 1, 2023 and June 9, 2024.

Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson formed a team after they were both eliminated in the quarterfinals of Tokyo’s 2021 Olympic Games with other partners. They took bronze in Ostrava last year.

The duo claimed a silver medal at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, where they lost to world No. 1 Ana Patricia Silva Ramos and Eduarda “Duda” Santos Lisboa of Brazil in the final.

Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., won a women’s world title in 2019.

Canada will attempt to qualify additional teams for Paris at a NORCECA Continental Qualifier tournament June 19-24 in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2024.

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