AUSSIE BEACH VOLLEYBALLERS GOING FOR GOLD IN BIRMINGHAM
Both of Australia’s beach volleyball teams have advanced to the gold medal matches at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett earnt their gold medal match berth after a convincing win over Rwanda’s Venuste/Olivier.
Having met the Rwandans earlier in the competition, McHugh and Burnett knew they were going to be in for a tough battle.
After pushing through the first set to win 21-18, the Aussies made their mark in the second, winning 21-14.
It’s the second time that McHugh will have the opportunity to go for gold at a Commonwealth Games, an honour he isn’t taking lightly.
“Beach volleyball got added (to the Commonwealth Games program) on the Gold Coast in 2018, and I was extremely honoured to win that with Damo (Schumann),” McHugh said.
“To add something like back-to-back Commonwealth Games champion to my career would be pretty amazing.
“It’s going to be a tough game but we’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
For Burnett, the chance to play in the gold medal match is something that he’s always dreamed of.
“It was always the goal – we had some shaky moments so you can never guarantee anything,” Burnett said.
“But we came into this tournament wanting to be in that final and win gold, and so far it’s going to plan.
“Now we’ve got just one more to go,” he said.
In the last game of the night, Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar secured their spot in the women’s gold medal match after a straight sets win over Vanuatu.
The Aussie pair will now meet Canada’s Pavan/Melissa on Monday, looking for redemption from the Gold Coast 2018 final.
“We stayed really patient throughout that whole game – even though the score might have shown something different,” Clancy said.
“We showed a lot of intensity and focus and I’m happy the result ended up falling in our favour.
“We’ve played Mel and Sarah (Canada) many times, so we know that they are a really strong team and we definitely have to be on our best game,” she said.