Australia’s Olympic beach volleyball team will play for a gold medal after cruising through to the final with a straight-sets win over Latvia
Australian beach volleyballers Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy are one match away from Olympic gold medal glory after beating Latvia in their semi-final on Thursday morning.
The girls held their nerve on the sand in Tokyo to win in straight sets, 23-21, 21-13.
‘Australia, they can’t do anything wrong right now,’ former Olympian Kerri Pottharst said in commentary.
The impressive win guarantees Australia its first major beach volleyball medal since Natalie Cook and Pottharst won at Sydney 2000 on the sand at Bondi.
Taliqua Clancy (left) and Mariafe Artacho del Solar celebrate after beating Latvia in their semi-final on Thursday at the Tokyo Olympics
Queensland raised Taliqua Clancy was immense in Australia’s semi-final beach volleyball triumph at the Tokyo Games
US pair April Ross and Alix Klineman await in the final for Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy (pictured) from 12.30pm (AEST) on Friday afternoon
US pair April Ross and Alix Klineman await in the final from 12.30pm (AEST) on Friday afternoon.
Ross and Klineman defeated Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre 21-12, 21-11 to progress to book a match with the Aussie girls.
‘We came here for gold, it’s going to be a good game in the final against USA, but we always back our game so we’re ready for it,’ a fired up del Solar told Channel 7.
Meanwhile Clancy, Australia’s first ever Indigenous beach volleyballer, was elated after overcoming a nervous start before running away with the result next to del Solar.
‘We always knew that we were going to be in this position (going for gold),’ a jubilant Clancy told Channel 7.
‘It was just awesome for us to know that we took another step forward here today.
‘We stayed really patient, we stayed strong and showed that that’s our game. Just so proud of Maria and our whole team.’
Incredibly, the Aussie girls only formed as a professional duo on the sand back in 2017.
Clancy also grew up a long way from the beach, in Kingaroy in rural Queensland, while del Solar is from Sydney’s north shore.