Australia push through the pain for Beach Volleyball gold
12 July 2019
SAMOA 2019: Australia’s Tim Dickson and Marcus Ferguson have pushed through injury to claim the nation’s first Pacific Games Beach Volleyball gold medal.
It was a smooth run to the gold-medal final for the duo, after they won every previous game in straight sets.
They came up against Tahiti in the final, and after they won the first set 21-8, it was looking to be another straight-set win.
However, 24-year-old Dickson strained his quadricep at the end of the opening set, and was no longer able to jump at the net or dive for the ball. Tahiti made the most of Australia’s misfortune, coming back hard to win the second set 21-19.
Halfway through the third set, Dickson called medical timeout to be seen by one of the Team physios. The score was neck-and-neck and tension was high.
Now with his leg strapped, Dickson gritted his teeth and pushed through the pain with the gold medal on the line. A few killer serves from Ferguson, and well-aimed shots pushed the Aussies into the lead until they secured the win, 15-11 in the third set.
Dickson said today’s win all came down to mental toughness.
“My quad didn’t actually feel that much better after treatment,” he said.
“The mind starts running 100 miles an hour, thinking ‘what do I do’ and ‘is there anything I can do’, and you just have to really try and ground yourself in the moment as best you can and accept what’s happened. You must stay present.
“You have to focus on the volleyball and executing the skills as best you can, even if you can’t jump like you usually can.
“I think it’s a really Australian thing to fight through adversity. No matter what’s holding you back, to push through and be brave and stand up, and that’s what we did today.”
The Adelaide-based athlete said it was a relief when they scored the winning point.
“We were speechless at the end, it was pure emotion; all that adrenaline came crashing down.
“To fight the way we did in that third set, I’m just super proud, and full credit to Tahiti for bringing their A-Game too.”
Ferguson said this win represented all the hard work they’ve put in, and the hard work their family, teammates and support crew have put in to help them get to where they are today.
“We’ve been on this journey for a while now, and every time you stand on the podium it’s an honour and a blessing,” the 21-year-old said.
“We’re so thankful for all the people around us who have supported us and helped us all the way. Our win is their win too. We did it for Australia, we did it for ourselves, we did it for our family.
“My dad was in the crowd today and I think he was the loudest Aussie here. He wears his heart on his sleeve as much as I do, and my win is his win too.”
It continued to rain medals for Australia’s weightlifting Team at Samoa 2019, adding another nine medals on Day 5.
Kaity Fassina won triple gold, taking out the snatch (101kg), clean and jerk (119kg) and total (220kg) in the women’s 87kg category.
Boris Elesin won silver in all three categories in the M89kg category, lifting 142kg snatch, and 166kg clean and jerk for a 308kg total.
Teammate Joel Gregson joined him on the podium with bronze (126kg snatch, 162kg C&J and 288kg total). Gregson lifted a 165kg clean and jerk, which the referees awarded. However, the jury overturned the lift as his elbow was not locked out, claiming it was a ‘no-lift’ and his previous 162kg effort was recorded as his best.
The Australian women’s rugby 7s girls sailed through the Pool round undefeated today, putting a massive 142 points on the score board from three games.
They opened their Pacific Games campaign with a 61-nil win over American Samoa, followed by a 43-nil victory over New Caledonia. They finished up the day playing the host nation, Samoa, taking a 38-0 win.
Paris Van Den Herik bounced back from her disappointing disqualification in one of yesterday’s races to come away with two first place finishes, a third and a fourth from today’s four races. She has jumped back up into the medal placings, and is in third place for the final day of racing.
Coming up on Saturday July 13…
- The women’s rugby 7s Team will take on Solomon Islands at 9.28am (6.28am AEST) in the quarterfinal. A win will see them advance to the semis at 1.08pm (10.08am AEST), where they will aim to qualify for the gold medal match at 4.50pm (1.50pm AEST).
- Australia has four athletes donning the green and gold on the final day of weightlifting. Ridge Barredo will compete in the M96kg category at 9am (6am AEST). Matthew Lydement and Jackson Roberts-Young are in the M90kg event at 11.30am (8.30am AEST). Charisma Amoe-Tarrant is the last Aussie weightlifter in action in the W+87kg category at 1.30pm (10.30am AEDT).
- Sailor Paris van Den Herik will compete in the final day of Laser Radial racing, heading into the medal race ranked third.