Clancy & Artacho del Solar To Fight For Beach Pro Tour Finals Glory in Doha
The top ten global men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams are congregating in Doha, Qatar this week for the 2022 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Finals.
The event is an invitational tournament for the top 10 teams following the 2022 season, with Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy seeded fourth in the women’s draw.
After collecting medals at their last five international events in 2022, the Aussies are aiming for another strong performance in Doha.
“We’re very excited to be in Doha competing amongst the top ten teams in the world! It’s such a unique and fun event so we are looking forward to competing,” Artacho del Solar said.
“Everyone here will be tough, so we just have to keep the focus on our processes and enjoying it one game at a time.
“The fact that there are no points in play takes some of the pressure off and makes it very fun, but at the same time everyone will be looking to get that big check.”
With the 2023 Doha Beach Pro Tour event the week following the Finals, Clancy said this week’s competition will be a great way to start a new season, with Paris 2024 Olympic qualification on the horizon.
“We’re very excited to get back out there, it’s a great challenge to start the season with World Tour Finals. Every match will be a great battle,” she said.
“Really not much changes [in our approach for this season]. We’re an experienced team and we continue to trust the process and our team. We’re excited to start the Paris 2024 campaign!”
Since July 2022, the Tokyo Olympic silver medallists have won gold at the Beach Pro Tour Espinho Challenge, bronze at Elite16 events in Gstaad and Torquay and silver at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Championships.
The five-tournament podium streak is the longest ever achieved by the two players, but also a good summary of what has been a productive season. In 2022, Clancy and Artacho del Solar were in the top five at nine of the ten events they played at, making it to the semifinals in seven of them and winning medals in six.
“We had a really good year,” Artacho del Solar told Volleyball World. “It was a good start for us and has put us in a really good spot for the Olympic qualification period.
“Our aim is always to be consistent during the season. We don’t want to be that team that just wins that random medal here and there. That’s what we are about and we’re looking forward to building from it in 2023.”
The Beach Pro Tour Finals are expected to offer a big challenge to each of the ten teams competing, and will be incredibly competitive right from the start.
Besides Clancy and Artacho del Solar, the participants will include Brazilian world champions Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa/Ana Patricia Ramos and their compatriots Carol Salgado/Barbara Seixas, seeded first and second respectively,
The Netherlands’ Katja Stam/Raisa Schoon are seeded just above the Aussies in third.
In their opening game on Thursday, the Aussies will face their long-term rival, Canada’s Sarah Paven – who defeated the duo in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medal match last year. However Paven will be joining a new Canadian teammate in Sophie Bukovec, and are seeded 10th.
Australian Pool B schedule for Beach Pro Tour Finals in Doha
2pm local Thursday 26 January (10pm AEDT) – AUS v Paven/Bukovec, CAN
7pm local Thursday 26 January (3am AEDT Friday) – AUS v Anastasija/Tina, LAT
2pm local Friday 27 January (10pm AEDT) – AUS v Nuss/Kloth, USA
7pm local Friday 28 January (3am AEDT Saturday) – AUS v Duda/Ana Patricia, BRA
See the full schedule HERE
Watch live on Volleyball World TV