Olympic stars Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho Del Solar showed why they are considered strong contenders for a medal in Tokyo, claiming an emphatic win at the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour (ABVT) final today.
In the last major domestic tournament ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games, all teams were out to impress, producing thrilling days of competition on Coolangatta Beach.
Since their return to the circuit in the second leg of the ABVT, the duo went undefeated in every match they played, today continuing their winning streak to take the gold medal ahead of fellow Olympians Nikki Laird and Becchara Palmer 2-0 (21-13, 21-15).
Clancy and Artacho Del Solar relocated to Brisbane during the COVID-19 outbreak, where they will now be based leading into the Tokyo Olympic Games which is just over 130 days away.
For local Clancy, finishing the tour with the gold medal was the icing on the cake, making a successful comeback after a 14-month hiatus due to injuries and a COVID-forced break in competitions.
“It feels really great, this is my home so it’s nice to finish the Tour here. We’re just grateful to Volleyball Australia for putting great tournaments on, it’s nice to get that competitive feeling back.
“We absolutely love competing together, we have such good trust in each other. We just love being back out there, it’s been a long time and we just really can’t wait to get back on World Tour,” said Clancy.
Artacho Del Solar said she expected a tough final going up against Laird and Palmer who they last met in the third round final as well.
“We know the girls (Laird & Palmer) are always going to come out hard and it’s always going to be a good game, so we just made sure we focused on our side of the net and trusted our game.
“Yesterday we had a pretty good day, it wasn’t that windy, and today the wind appeared a little bit more. But we do love the wind, and we love these conditions, we just love the great Queensland weather. Just another day in sunny Queensland,” said Artacho Del Solar.
The bronze medal match went to a new pairing of Alice Rohkamper and Stefanie Weiler who defeated Queenslanders Phoebe Bell and Jessyka Ngauamo 2-0 (21-17, 21-18).