Artacho del Solar and Clancy win Bronze at Switzerland Elite 16 World Tour
Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy have won bronze at the Gstaad Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Switzerland, defeating Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia 2:1 (22-20, 22-24, 15-9).
Just weeks out from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallists had a strong, undefeated run into the semi-finals in the iconic Swisse event, before facing the World #2, Brazil ‘s Carolina Solberg Salgado and Barbara Seixas de Freitas.
The Brazilian duo advanced to the gold-medal match after winning 2:1 (10-21, 21-14, 15-12), setting up a bronze medal clash that was a rematch of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic semifinal between the Aussies and the Latvians.
Artacho del Solar and Clancy came out strong, claiming the opening set 22-20. Latvia then took an early lead in the second set, before the Aussies bounced back to face a couple of set points. In the end it was Latvia who edged ahead to win the set 24-22.
The Australian’s dug deep to pull ahead in the tie-break, winning the third set 15-9 and securing the iconic Swisse World Tour beach volleyball trophy – a giant cowbell.
With two more World Tour events on the calendar before they play at Birmingham 2022, Artacho del Solar said the team are happy to have the extra luggage to carry with them on tour.
“We’re in Europe for the next six weeks and we’re more than happy to pay for extra luggage to bring this trophy home,” she joked.
Clancy said she was proud of the team for bouncing back after the semi-final disappointment, to stand on the podium.
“Unfortunately we didn’t stick to the level of play that we know that we can, but after the semi, we spoke about the fact we know that level of play is there, and we just delivered it then [in the bronze match] which is awesome,” Clancy said.
“I am so proud of Mariafe, and our team, and just so grateful that we get to have a cowbell. This means the world to all players on tour, so it’s really special.”
Artacho del Solar and Clancy will next play in the Espinho Beach World Tour Challenge event in Portugal next weekend, and the Agadir Beach World Tour Challenge in Morocco the following week, before making their way to Birmingham, England for their second Commonwealth Games.