Australia’s Commonwealth Games representatives have shone bright on the world stage, winning two silver medals at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Kusadasi, Turkey.
Having been announced on the team to represent Australia in Birmingham in just over 60 days’ time, women’s team Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy, and men’s pair Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett added another medal to their haul, both claiming silver.
McHugh and Burnett faced young Swedish pair Ahman/Hellvig in the gold medal match, starting strong with a 21-19 first set victory.
But the Swedes stormed home to win in three sets, and the Aussies fell just short (21-19, 18-21, 12-15).
Their first Beach Pro Tour medal as a team, McHugh said it gives them a confidence boost ahead of the next competitions leading into the Commonwealth Games.
“Winning a medal on the Pro Tour is always special, and the first time for the team makes it even more exciting,” McHugh said.
“Our team continues to grow and overcome adversity this year, which is really pleasing to see leading into the Commonwealth Games.
“We are very pleased with how this week has gone, and the growth of not only our team but our game as well.
“Each time we step on court we are improving as individuals and as a team which is so important with the World Championships in a few weeks and then the Commonwealth Games.
“We leave tomorrow for our next event in Ostrava and we’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
Fellow Aussies Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy also won silver, after a narrow loss to USA’s Kloth/Nuss 1:2 (12-21, 21-17, 15-17).
Both teams will now head to the Czech Republic where they will line up in the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite 16 event, which gets underway on Thursday 26 May. Click https://en.volleyballworld.com/beachvolleyball/competitions/beach-pro-tour-2022/events/elite16/ostrava-czech-republic/ for more information and the qualification schedule.
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