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Tuesday, August 29, 2000
Medal hopes high for Canadian Olympians and Paralympians

 OTTAWA (CSN) -- Jody Holden of Toronto feels he and his partner Conrad Leinemann of Kelowna, B.C., are medal material at next month's Olympic Games in men's beach volleyball.

 Holden and Leinemann, the Pan Am Games champions, along with Olympic bronze medallists John Child and Mark Heese of Toronto are Canada's pairs at the Sydney Games.

 Holden and Leinemann have four top-10 finishes in 13 tournaments this season including a seventh place at the Mexico stop. They are seeded 18th for the Games and face number-seven Kevin Wong and Rob Heidger of the U.S., in the first round.

 "We've been playing against the world's best teams all summer long," said Holden who formed a partnership with Leinemann four years ago. "And we've beaten everybody at least once. Now it's just a matter of putting it all together at one tournament. It's going to be an extremely tough competition. All 24 teams can make the top-three. There's been a lot of parity on the world circuit this year."

 Child and Heese are ranked sixth in the world heading into the Games. In 12 tour events this year, they have nine top-10 finishes and have medalled twice including a silver at the Toronto stop in June. They'll open the Olympic tournament against Jean-Philippe Jodard and Christian Penigaud of France, seeded 20th, in the first round.

 "Having one Olympics under our belt should be beneficial," said Heese. "The majority of the field at the Games will be first time Olympians. Overall our season has gone well although we could have been a little more consistent. The calibre of play right now is very tight and there's no margin for error."

 Also announced was the Canadian indoor team for the Paralympic Games, also in Sydney, October 18-29. It's the first time volleyball will be on the Paralympic program and Canada is seeded third and a top medal contender.

 "There's little that separates the top-five teams," said Canadian player Lawrence Flynn of Toronto. "Right now Germany and Poland are the ones to beat but our goal is to reach the final match."

 Other team members are Jason Migchels of Watford, Ont., Joey Stabner of Saskatoon, John Przybyszewski of Toronto, Jose Rebelo of Montreal, Larry Matthews of Edmonton, Mikael Bartholdy of Okotoks, Alta., Neil Johnson of Glencoe, Ont., Tony Quarin of Calgary, Chris Rodway of Calgary and Geoff Hammond of Fort St. John, B.C.

 The head coach is Calvin Aubin of Calgary and his assistant Vincent Pichette of Hull, Que.

 Canadian volleyball teams for the Olympic and Paralympic Games:


 Beach volleyball: John Child, Toronto and Mark Heese, Toronto; Jody Holden, Toronto and Conrad Leinemann, Kelowna, B.C.


 Indoor:Jason Migchels, Watford, Ont.; Joey Stabner, Saskatoon; John Przybyszewski, Toronto; Jose Rebelo, Montreal; Larry Matthews, Edmonton; Mikael Bartholdy, Okotoks, Alta.; Neil Johnson, Glencoe, Ont.; Tony Quarin, Calgary; Chris Rodway, Calgary; Geoff Hammond, Fort St. John, B.C.; Lawrence Flynn, Toronto.

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