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Artacho del Solar and Clancy claim first World Title victory

16 October 2017

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: In just their second tournament together Australia’s newest beach volleyball team of Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar have won their second international gold.

The Rio 2016 Olympians defeated Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek in straight sets in the final to claim their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour title at the Qinzhou Open in China.

This win comes off the back of winning gold at their first international tournament at the Osaka Open in Japan last weekend.

Artacho del Solar and Clancy went into the Qinzhou Open as fifth seeds and defeated the top seeds and home favouites Wang Fan and Xia Xinyi 29-27, 21-18 in the semi-finals for a shot at the gold medal.

Kolosinska and Kociolek turned out to be the competition's dark horses. Seeded 30th they defeated second seeds Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross of the United States in straight sets to earn their place in the gold medal showdown.

However the Aussie dymanic duo showed their dominance and took the 21-11, 21-10 victory in 28 minutes, attributing their victory to teamwork and mutual trust.

“The key is trust and belief in ourselves and each other,” Artacho del Solar told Volleyball Australia.

“We were provided freedom to just go and play our game in the wind. T and I did a really good job of sticking together and playing aggressive.”

“Moving forward we have one more tournament on this tour so we will enjoy the gold medal now and then starting preparing for AVC in Palembang next week,” Clancy added.

Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher was thrilled with the result.

"Champions! The last gold medal for Australia at this standard was 2007 Natalie Cook and Tamsin Hinchley (2012 Olympians). This is a great result for our sport," Carracher said.

The future is looking bright for this pair should they stick together but there's still no certainty they will continue on as a duo for Commonwealth Games selection. That decision will come when they return to Australia at the end of the month.

Clancy’s Rio Olympic partner Louise Bawden teamed up with Jessyka Ngauamo in China but were knocked out by the Polish silver medallists in the quarter-finals round 21-16, 21-27.

Australia’s male pair of Cole Durant and Zachery Schubert defeated Germany in straight sets in the round of 32 before going down in three tight sets (24-22, 20-22, 25-9) to Belgium’s Droes Koekelkoren and Tom Van Walle in the round of 16.

Georgia Thompson
olympics.com.au

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