Australian teams lining up for Swiss Elite16

Australian teams lining up for Swiss Elite16

The Beach Pro Tour Elite16 arrives in Gstaad, Switzerland this week with Australian teams looking for success at one of the premier events of the season.

Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis will be attempting to qualify for the men’s main draw while women’s world no.2 pairing Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy will be looking to continue their great start to 2023.

The Olympic silver medallists have already earned third place results at the Elite16 events in Qatar and Mexico before finishing runners-up in Brazil.

Gstaad was a happy hunting ground last year when they claimed another third place result, with Clancy excited by the prospect of lifting one of the more unique trophies on the world tour; a giant Swiss cowbell.

“We’ve been going there for years, can’t even count, maybe five years I’ve been there,” she said. “It was nice to get our first cowbell but I want many more.

“It’s the highlight of everyone’s calendar – they chase the cowbell more than the medal!”

With all events on the Beach Pro Tour earning vital Olympic qualification points, the pair are keen to consolidate their early season form as they strive to secure Australia a quota place at the Paris 2024 Games.

Artacho del Solar and Clancy have spent the last week in a training camp together with top teams from Switzerland and Netherlands. While appreciating how unique the event is, the duo are keeping the same focus they have brought to the year’s opening tournaments.

“We approach it just like any other event, same mentality, working towards Olympic qualification is so important,” said Clancy.

“This event has been on the tour for years, it’s really iconic. They host a really good event and they’ve made a cool tradition in the calendar with the cowbell so it holds a special place.”

Asian Champions Zac Schubert and Tom Hodges and Commonwealth Games gold medallists Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett are reserves for the event and will only take part in qualifying pending withdrawals from other teams.

Each Elite16, Challenge and Futures event on the Beach Pro Tour earns points towards Paris 2024 Olympic qualification.

The top 17 teams during the qualification period (ending 9 June 2024) will win their nation a quota spot in Paris. Clancy and Artacho del Solar currently sit third on FIVB’s Provisional Olympic Ranking, while in the men’s rankings Hodges/Schubert are fifth and McHugh/Burnett are ninth.

Qualifying in Gstaad starts on Wednesday evening (Australian time) with the main draws getting underway on Thursday. Click here for draws and results.

All matches from the Beach Pro Tour Elite16 in Gstaad, Switzerland can be streamed live on

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