Clancy and Artacho del Solar create history at FIVB
20 August 2018
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Aussie beach volleyball super-duo Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar have created history, winning bronze at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Final, making this their sixth podium appearance of the season.
Throughout the tournament, Clancy and Artacho del Solar won four matches, including a match against World Number 1, Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Santos Liboa and World Number 3, Brazil's Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado.
The Australian team topped the women's pools, sending them into the bronze medal play-off against Antonelli and Salgado, with the Aussie duo taking the bronze medal, 21-15, 19,21 and 8-15.
Earlier in the tournament Clancy and Artacho del Solar also defeated the Canadian team of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Padres, who pipped them for gold at the Commonwealth Games in April of this year.
Artacho del Solar told Volleyball Australia before going into the bronze medal match, "It's bloody amazing. We've had some really tough matches and to come out on top in this tournament, where we play the best in the world, is such a special feeling."
The Czech team of Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova came away with silver while the Brazillian team of Rio 2016 gold medallist, Bednarczuk and Santos Lisboa claimed the gold.
This competition marks the end of the 2017-2018 International Beach Volleyball season for Artacho and Clancy, even more impressively is that this is the first full season the duo has played together.
Throughout their stellar debut season together, Clancy and Artacho del Solar have won four gold medals and the most titles (4 World Tour and 2 Asian Tour) ever won by an Australian men's or women's beach volleyball team. They finished the season with a 77% win ratio, winning 41 out of their 53 matches.
Clancy told FIVB, "I'm so proud of what we've done and achieved.
"We set out some goals of what we wanted to achieve this year and I think we've actually reached all of them," the 26-year old said.
"I think we've put ourselves in a good position to start the Olympic qualification. We definitely want to be the best, even though we're in our first season, we want to be consistent and take the momentum all the way to Tokyo."
Artacho del Solar echoed her team mate's thoughts;
"We're a fresh team and I think we've done really good in our first season. We're kind of at a place where if we can keep going, who knows where we can take our team," she said.
"We're really competitive and we keep working hard and setting new goals.
"We want to keep growing and take the team to another level."
The Aussie team now have a break from competition until mid-September where they will compete in the new Queen of the Court Tournament in Hawaii before preparation for their Olympic Qualification campaign begins at the Asian Championships in Thailand from 24-28 September.