Olympians Clancy & Artacho del Solar make history at Volleyfest
27 November 2017
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Australia’s beach volleyball golden girls, Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, have won the women’s FIVB World Tour event at Volleyfest Manly this afternoon, all but sealing their selection for the Commonwealth Games.
It’s the first international tournament win at home by an Australian women’s team since Kerri Pottharst and Natalie Cook won Gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
The Rio 2016 Olympians are the first Australian women’s team to win an FIVB World Tour event on home sand since the women’s World Tour began in 1992.
The dymanic duo defeated China’s Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia in two straight sets with a scorecard of 21:17 and 21:14. China didn’t make it easy for the Australians, continually applying the pressure but the composure of the Australians in front of their home fans saw them respond stronger each time.
Taliqua and Mariafe’s self-belief was evident the entire match, openly enjoying each point win and showing the smooth teamwork which makes this pairing so successful.
The final two points to end the match came from powerful spikes from Artacho del Solar which found empty space in the Chinese half.
The win also gives Australia the Hancock Prospecting Perpetual Trophy, awarded each time Australia and China play.
In the moments after the match, an emotional Artacho del Solar realised this win moves her one giant step closer to her Commonwealth Games dream.
“It might look really easy, our team work, trust and belief in each other is what helps keep us composed and makes it look so smooth,” Artacho del Solar said.
Clancy continues to cement her status as Australia’s leading female beach volleyballer and is clearly enjoying the new found partnership with Artacho del Solar and it’s seemingly unstoppable success. This is the fourth consecutive gold medal the pair have won since they joined forces in early October, 2017.
“We work hard on our communication and allow each other freedom to play. Where playing tough so we’ve got to play at a high level all time,” Clancy said.
Clancy admits the call of the Commonwealth Games is strong.
“Definitely it’s in our minds but right now we are just going to enjoy this moment. It’s the end of a long season,” she said.
The women’s Bronze medal went to Austria’s Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig, who downed Japan’s Azusa Futami and Akiko Hasegawa 2:1.
Full competition results and rankings available HERE.