TOKYO OLYMPIC QUOTA SPOT SECURED FOR AUSTRALIAN MEN’S BEACH VOLLEYBALL
Australia’s Men’s Beach Volleyball teams have secured the final quota spot at the Tokyo Olympic Games after dominating the final day of the AVC Continental Cup in Thailand.
The teams of Chris McHugh/Damien Schumann & Max Guehrer/Zach Schubert both faced Indonesia today, delivering 2-0 victories in their respective matches.
The wins will see Australia secure one Men’s spot at the Tokyo Olympics Games, the first time since the 2008 Beijing Olympics Australia will have a men’s beach volleyball team compete.
The final team selection will occur in the next week, with the one men’s team to join previously announced Australian Women’s team Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar.
2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Chris McHugh, said the two week tournament in Thailand had been tough but today’s result made it all worthwhile.
“It’s so amazing… it feels a little surreal. It’s been a long time since Australia had a men’s team compete at the Olympics, 2008 Beijing, and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys.
“It has been a tough two weeks in Thailand, essentially playing while in quarantine bubble. We’ve either been in quarantine or outside playing volleyball for an hour and a half, no gym, no stretching outside.
“But that’s what we had to do in this COVID world and credit to Thailand Volleyball and the Government for ensuring the competition could go ahead. We have had tight and secure conditions here but it made competition possible and we are really grateful.
“Coming into the Continental Cup you never know what is going to happen. All the teams play with such emotion and passion because it’s the only time you play as a country together.
“For us (Australia) we had six guys here, Damo and me, Zach and Max as well as Paul (Burnett) and Tom (Hodges) who were our reserves. We were all pushing each other in our training environments to get here and supporting each other along the way.
“We all came here to get the men’s team to the Olympics and we’ve done that now!” said McHugh.
Volleyball Australia’s High Performance Director, Craig Marshall, said it’s an exciting day for Volleyball Australia.
“Our top two men’s teams have fought hard over the last two weeks at AVC Continental Cup Final to secure Australia a spot in the men’s beach volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics. Selectors will now meet to determine the one team we will send to Tokyo,” said Marshall.
“An amazing effort from our Men in Thailand winning the semi last week and the final this week, going through the two weeks undefeated.
“This has been a big team effort from the time the COVID-19 world-wide pandemic hit. From the CEO, the coaches, the support staff, the athletes, management and admin team… we committed to a structured and considered plan and executed it to perfection.
“After a challenging 12 months with no international competition, our teams have delivered strong performances at the AVC Continental Cup.
“They will now head home to Australia, where they will need to serve two weeks of quarantine, before then heading to Tokyo. They will join our previously announced women’s team of Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar,” he said.
The Australians will depart Thailand tomorrow for Brisbane, where they will fulfil their two week quarantine period. They will have five days of training before they depart for Tokyo.
AUS #1 d INI #1 2:0 (21-18; 21-12)
Australia #1 Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann
AUS #2 d INI #1 2:0 (21-13; 21-11)
Australia #2 Maiximilian Guehrer and Zachery Schubert