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Olympians head intriguing beach volleyball tour final

23 March 2017

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Four Olympians will be among the competitors at Manly Beach this weekend contesting the end-of-season Australian Beach Volleyball Tour Final.

None of the quartet will be playing with their Olympic partners, adding further intrigue to the last competition in Australia before teams head overseas to take part in the World Tour.

Three-time Olympian, Louise Grice (nee Bawden), will be playing with 2016 Rio Olympian, Mariafe Artacho del Solar.

Grice’s 2016 Rio partner, Taliqua Clancy, is still recovering from injury but is expected to be back on the sand next month.

Artacho del Solar’s Rio partner, Nikki Laird, will be playing with former Youth Olympic Games athlete, Phoebe Bell, this weekend.

London 2012 Olympian, Becchara Palmer, will partner Queensland’s Jessyka Ngauamo. Adding further to the intrigue, Artacho del Solar and Ngauamo were the best-placed Australians at last weekend’s FIVB World Tour event at Manly, winning silver.

Australia’s Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann will start short-priced favourites in the men’s competition.

McHugh and Schumann have come together because of injuries to their regular playing partners, and have responded by winning the FIVB World Tour event in Shepparton and the Four Nations Cup in Manly this week.

Their major challenge will come from Adelaide-based pair Cole Durant and Zachery Schubert, who won the NSW Open and have played on the international tour already this year.

International teams from USA, Austria and Japan will also come into the medal mix.

The Australian Tour finals start at 8am Friday, with the finals on Sunday afternoon.

Ross Solly
Volleyball Australia

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