Three Aussie beach volleyball teams are primed for their next international competition, at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Doha this week.

Commonwealth Games hopefuls Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett, and Olympic silver medalists Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar will be joined by Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures Gold Coast gold medallists Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis at the event which gets underway this Thursday 5 May.

Having spent the past two weeks preparing in Switzerland, Artacho del Solar and Clancy are primed for the Challenge event.

Artacho del Solar said despite a disappointing result in Rosarito earlier this month, the goal posts have not changed.

“We had a small taste of being back on the World Tour in Rosarito and it was awesome,” Artacho del Solar said.

“The new format means you’re facing great teams as soon as you play that first pool game.

“For us as a team, we are focused on those events that we identified pre-season and the goal posts haven’t moved,” she said.

With just over 80 days to go until the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Artacho del Solar said tournaments like Doha form an important part of their preparations.

“The World Tour is unreal and it means we compete against the top teams week in, and week out,” Artacho del Solar said.

“It also means that we’re going to be prepped and ready to roll come Birmingham.

“In saying that, all of the teams are super focused on getting great results, so we will have to be at our best each and every game,” she said.

McHugh and Burnett opened their international season in Mexico, with a fifth place at the Tlaxcala Challenge, and qualification rounds of the Rosarito Elite 16.

After a solid training block at home in Australia, McHugh said they are excited to get back into international competition.

“Paul and I have worked hard back in Adelaide in the last few weeks after getting home from Mexico,” McHugh said.

“There have been a few bumps along the way but we feel like we have improved and are excited to test ourselves against the best in the world.

“Doha is another opportunity to play against some great teams and some new teams who didn’t play in Mexico.

“Our goals for the week are to continue to grow and explore our team game, but also to compete hard to prepare ourselves for the rest of the year,” he said.

The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge Doha will get underway on Thursday 5 May, with the schedule to be released in the coming days.

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