Fourth World Tour gold for Clancy and Artacho del Solar
9 July 2018
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Australia’s dynamic duo of Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar have won their fourth gold medal on the FIVB World Tour of Beach Volleyball in Portugal at the Espinho Open over the weekend.
With Olympic qualification commencing in September 2018, this Australian combination of Indigenous superstar Clancy and Peruvian born but Australian bred World U23 Champion, Artacho del Solar, is hitting its stride.
Defeating USA and Brazil in the finals, the fifth-seeded Aussies have now won more gold medals on the World Tour than any other combination in Australian Beach Volleyball history.
With this 4 Star Tournament win they now head to the Grand Slam of World Beach Volleyball next weekend in Gstaad, Switzerland well placed and in the world top 10.
The Aussies faced fourth-seeded Maria Antonelli and Carolina Solberg Salgado of Brazil in the gold-medal match.
The Brazilians took an early lead before Clancy and Artacho Del Solar fought their way back to not only catch up at 17-all, but also jump ahead to a 19-17 lead. The Brazillians tied it up at 19-all before the Aussies just managed to snag the set win 23-21.
It was another close second set, but the Aussies took the match in straight sets, sealing their victory with a 21-17 win.
“It was a good match! We knew that we had to bring our A-game,” Mariafe Artacho told FIVB media after the final.
“Maria and Carol are an extremely good team, so we really knew we had to fight and battle. We stayed really strong together and patient and really trusted the process and that we could deliver.”
The duo had an unfamiliar performance at last week’s event in Warsaw, Poland where they failed to advance to the first round after going down to Latvia and Finland in the Pool stage.
“We had a disappointing last week at Warsaw, we didn’t like the way that we played, so it was important to get back our belief and trust in our game style. We kept delivering today and it was really fun!”
This is their biggest win since combining less than a year ago having won three FIVB golds and silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April, after going down to the top ranked Canadian team.
Clancy was pleased they were able to put the defeat behind them and return to their more consistently high-performing style this weekend.