McHugh & Burnett Look to Defend Asian Senior Men’s Beach Volleyball Championships Crown
Three Australian Teams will represent the green and gold at this week’s Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) 2022 Asian Senior Men’s Beach Volleyball Championships in Bandar Abbas, from 14-18 November.
The Australian contingent will be headlined by Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallists and defending Asian Senior Men’s Beach Volleyball Champions Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett. They will be joined by the experienced duos of Mark Nicolaidis and Izac Carracher, and Zachery Schubert and Tom Hodges, the latter having just won silver at the AVC Beach Tour in Bandar Abbas over the weekend.
McHugh has five Asian titles to his name, the fifth coming at the 2021 Asian Senior Men’s Championships in Phuket, in his first tournament with Burnett, after McHugh’s teammate Damien Schumman announced his retirement from international competition following the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The duo gelled instantly in Thailand, winning the gold in straight sets against Iran’s Bahman Salemi and Abolhassan Khakizadeh.
Their greatest challenge at this week’s event will come from Qatari duo Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, who are currently ranked third in the FIVB World Rankings and won bronze at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
After a decent rest following their gold medal performance in Birmingham, Burnett said the team are “itching” to get back into competition mode and aiming to defend their Asian title.
“We can’t wait to get back out there and hopefully can repeat how we went last year,” Burnett said.
“We’re feeling really good, we’ve had a solid eight weeks of pre-season training now, so we’ve had a lot of time to prepare and we’re itching to get back into competition as we haven’t competed since the Commonwealth Games.
“Our goal is to just put our best stuff out there and if we can do that, we’re giving ourselves the best chance to come away with a win.”
All three Australian Teams competing in the Asian Championships will have a quick turnaround to fly back to Australia ahead of the Great Ocean Road Beach Volleyfest in Torquay starting on 23 November, where they are competing in both the Beach Pro Tour Challenge and Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 events.
Burnett said the Asian Champs will provide an ideal opportunity for McHugh and himself to dust off the cobwebs so they can put on a show for the local fans in Victoria in less than two week’s time.
“I think it’s great to be able to have an opportunity to compete before these Torquay events given that we’ve had such a long break,” he said.
“It allows us to get a bit of the rust out and come into Torquay primed and ready to go.”
The 2022 Asian Senior Men’s Beach Volleyball Championships in Bandar Abbas, Iran, run from 14 – 18 November.
Carracher and Nicolaidis are in Pool D, playing Hong Kong’s K.Y.Wong/K.W.TSE in their first match at 9am local time (4.30pm AEDT) on Monday 14 November.
Schubert and Hodges are in Pool E and will face Pustynnikov/Petrossyants (Kazakhstan) at 10am local time (5.30pm AEDT) on Monday.
McHugh and Burnett are in Pool C, but will play their first match on Tuesday 15 November.
See the full schedule and follow the results HERE