Sports

Aussie beach volleyballers chasing Commonwealth Games gold

Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar have set their sights on winning gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

The duo have been named as Australia’s female pairing for Birmingham 2022, where they will seek to improve on their silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m grateful for another chance to wear the green and gold, and to represent my people,” said Clancy, the first Indigenous player to represent Australia in beach volleyball.

“Mariafe and I really want to turn our silver from the Gold Coast in 2018 into gold.

“I can’t wait to get over there and show the world what we’re made of.”

It will be the second Commonwealth Games for Clancy and del Solar, and also for fellow volleyballer Chris McHugh, with all three having featured when the sport debuted on the Gold Coast.

McHugh will be paired in this year’s competition with Paul Burnett as Australia aim to defend the gold medal won four years ago.

McHugh (left) and Schumann are determined to defend their 2018 gold medal.(AAP: Darren England)

The men’s pair tested their combination at the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships last November and McHugh, who won the inaugural Commonwealth Games beach volleyball competition with the now-retired Damien Schumann, is excited about their prospects heading into Birmingham.

“The gold medal on the Gold Coast was a phenomenal achievement for Damo and myself, and that will stay with us forever,” McHugh said.

“But this is a new team, with Paul playing at his first Commonwealth Games, and we have our own goals that we are striving every day to achieve.”

AAP

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