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Copacabana venue looking perfect

2 August 2016

VOLLEYBALL - BEACH: The Australian beach volleyball teams have given the thumbs-up to the cauldron-like Copacabana Stadium, one of the biggest purpose-built volleyball arenas in the world.

Coach Steve Tutton said the stadium’s conditions matched up well for the Australian female pairings of Taliqua Clancy/Louise Bawden and Nikki Laird/Mariafe del Solar.

“The facilities looks great, the sand looks clean,” Tutton said.

“Normally we’d see some rocks but there’s no particles in the sand, it’s very clean and it looks deep, so that’s really good for the way our team wants to play.”

“We think we’re a physical team: we jump really high – so there’s teams that aren’t going to be as explosive as we are on the court.

“We can hit the ball from a high contact point and attack different areas of the court.”

The incredible venue dominates the Copacabana Beach landscape, with a 12,000 seat capacity expected to deliver an electric atmosphere once competition begins.

Brazilians love their beach volleyball and Tutton said the crowd would be a feature of the event.

“The largest crown we’ve played in front of is around 5500 people at the World Championships, so this will be amazing,” Tutton said.

When we were here in February we played in front of 2,000 people and it was very noisy – magnify that by 10 times and this will be going off.”

The Australians are busy preparing for a late-night playing schedule, with both teams holding sessions beginning at 11pm and stretching into 1am this morning to acclimatise.

Beach Volleyball begins Saturday 6 August.

Doug MacDougall
olympics.com.au

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