Canada beat Venezuela 15-11 in a golden set to secure a second Olympic ticket ©FIVB

Canada and hosts Russia claimed Rio 2016 berths today after winning their respective men's semi-finals at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification tournament in Sochi.

The Canadians beat Venezuela 15-11 in a golden set with Grant O’Gorman and Sam Pedlow getting the better of Jackson Henriquez and Rolando "Peter" Hernandez.

O’Gorman and Pedlow had earlier recorded a 21-15, 21-12 win over Jesus Villafane and Henriquez after compatriots Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter suffered a surprise 21-13, 19-21, 13-15 loss against Peter and Jose "Tigrito" Gomez.

A play-off on Saturday (July 16) will now decide which of the two Canadian teams earn their place at Rio 2016.

Canada now has two men’s teams in next month’s Olympics with Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton already qualified through the FIVB World Tour Olympic ranking.

Russia overcame Belgium 2-0 thanks to wins for Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin against Bob Douwen and Aljosa Urnaut - 21-17, 21-18 - and Nikita Liamin and Dmitri Barsouk against Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle - 21-16, 19-21, 15-12.

In the women’s event, Czech Republic and Russia claimed the two remaining Olympic tickets with 2-1 wins over China and Austria respectively.

Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova defeated China’s Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia 15-12 in a golden set.

Slukova and Hermannova had earlier beaten Chunxia Chen and Ningya Tang 21-12, 21-13 after fellow countrywomen Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova lost 19-21, 22-20, 11-15 against Xue and Xia.

The Czech Federation had already decided to send Slukova and Hermannova to the Games in the event that they got a ticket.

Brazil's Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg won the men's title at the FIVB Gstaad Major Series event ©FIVB
Brazil's Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg won the men's title at the FIVB Gstaad Major Series event ©FIVB

Ekaterina Birlova and Evgenia Ukolova ensured victory for Russia against Austria by defeating Stefanie Schwaiger and Barbara Hansel 15-3 in a golden set. 

Birlova and Nadezda Makroguzova had earlier won 21-17, 21-10 against Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig before Ukolova and Anastasia Barsuk lost against Schwaiger and Hansel 21-15, 17-21, 12-15.

There are no finals being played at the FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification tournament. 

At the FIVB Gstaad Major Series event, eleventh seeds Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg of Brazil upset second-seeded Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena 24-22, 21-16 in the final.

Their triumph was the second in as many days for Brazil, following success yesterday for Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca in the women’s final at the expense of Americans April Ross and Kerri Walsh-Jennings.

Goncalves and Solberg reached their first gold medal match in six FIVB World Tour events by beating seventh-seeded Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain 21-13, 21-18.

Dalhausser and Lucena advanced to their 10th FIVB World Tour final in 17 starts together with a 21-18, 21-16 semi-final win over sixth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia.

In the bronze medal match, last year’s runners-up Samoilovs and Smedins overcame Gavira and Herrera 21-14, 34-32.