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No day at the beach for Bansley and Maloney as they look to book a trip to London

Canada's Heather Bansley sets the ball in a women's beach volleyball quarterfinal match against Brazil at the Pan American Games in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Wednesday Oct. 19, 2011.

Ariana Cubillos/The Associated Press

Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto team up today to seek a London berth in beach volleyball in Moscow, as they battle for a top-16 ranking by the end of next weekend's finale of the international circuit in Rome. The top 16 teams in beach volleyball's international (FIVB rankings) win automatic admission into the London Olympic draw. The Canadians are currently 20 th .

Thursday, Marie-André Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., and Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., fell one win short of advancing to the main draw.

After an easy first win in round one, Lessard and Martin lost a second round battle to Brazilians Angela Vieira and Liliane Maestrini 21-12, 22-24, 15-7.

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The team of Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City and Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., as well as the pair of Jamie Broder of Victoria and Kristina Valjas of Toronto were both eliminated in the first round of qualifying.

In the men's qualifying for the Moscow draw, the Canadians are Ben Saxton of Calgary and Christian Redmann of Toronto; Josh Binstock of Toronto and Martin Reader of Comox, B.C.; and Maverick Hatch of Comox and Sam Schachter of Toronto. The Canadian men don't have a shot at getting into the Olympics via their ranking, but still have a chance to get to London if they win the Continental Cup at Mazatlan, Mexico later this month. Two qualifying places are available for the Continental Cup.

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Sports reporter

James Christie written sports for the Globe on staff since 1974, covering almost all beats and interviewed the big names from Joe DiMaggio, to Muhammad Ali, to Jim Brown to Wayne Gretzky. Also covered the 10 worst years in Toronto Maple Leafs hockey history. More

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