16/04/2024

Australia will be looking to win gold in both the women's and men's beach volleyball. (Photo: Wallis Media)

This is The Inner Sanctum's ultimate preview guide for the Australians competing in beach volleyball at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Games 2022 are quickly approaching. This is the ultimate preview guide by The Inner Sanctum, discussing all the Australians competing in Birmingham.

Up next, beach volleyball.

How will it work in Birmingham?

Matches are played in best of three sets with the winner being the first to win two sets. The first two sets are played to 21 points and if required, the third set is only played to 15 points.

The countries competing in the women’s beach volleyball against Australia include: Canada, Cyprus, England, Ghana, Kenya, New Zealand, Scotland, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.

Australia will be in Pool B alongside Cyprus, Trinidad and Tobago and Cyprus.

The countries competing in the men’s beach volleyball against Australia include: Canada, Cyprus, England, Maldives, New Zealand, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, South Africa, Sri Lanka, The Gambia and Tuvalu.

Australia will be in Pool B alongside Rwanda, South Africa and Maldives.

Women’s squad

Women’s team: Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy

Clancy and del Solar have played continuously together since 2017. Since this time they have won silver at the previous Commonwealth Games and at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Narrowly missing out on the gold to Canada last time, the duo will be out for retribution.

Taliqua Clancy is the first Indigenous player to represent Australia in beach volleyball. The Brisbane-based player joined Peruvian del Solar in 2017, and has performed at an elite level in the the past five years.

“I’m grateful for another chance to wear the green and gold, and to represent my people,” Clancy said.

“Mariafe and I really want to turn our silver from the Gold Coast in 2018 into gold. I can’t wait to get over there and show the world what we’re made of.” 

Fixture (local time)

Sunday July 31: Australia vs Sri Lanka (14:30-17:30)

Tuesday August 2: Australia vs Trinidad and Tobago (14:30-17:30)

Tuesday August 4: Australia vs Cyprus (14:30-17:30)

Prediction

First (Gold Medal)

Big things are expected from the women’s team this time around. Unable to win gold at the last Commonwealth Games, the duo will come out of the gate with fire.

Both players are extremely talented and will make it to the final with ease. The only way del Solar and Clancy don’t walk out of the Games with the gold is if there is an upset.

Men’s Squad

Men’s team: Paul Burnett and Chris McHugh

The men’s team has struggled recently due to 11-year age gap between the two players, being relatively new playing as a team. 35-year-old Chris McHugh is a veteran of beach volleyball and will be representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games for the second time.

However, it will be Paul Burnett’s first Commonwealth appearance. The 24-year-old youngster showed great promise and potential in his early years and will add another layer to the McHugh’s game.

McHugh was lucky enough to walk away with the gold medal last time, and will be wishing for a repeat performance.

If the duo improve their team chemistry they will be unstoppable against any and all opponents.

“I’m very excited to be selected on Team Australia for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games with Paul,” McHugh said.

McHugh is hoping to lead the team to another gold medal in men’s beach volleyball. (Photo: Wallis Media)

“The gold medal on the Gold Coast was a phenomenal achievement for Damo [Schumann] and myself, and that will stay with us forever.

“But this is a new team, with Paul playing at his first Commonwealth Games, and we have our own goals that we are striving every day to achieve.

“We are going to Birmingham to win every game that we play, compete hard for every point and represent Australia with pride.”

Fixture (local time)

Saturday July 30: Australia vs Maldives (19:00-22:00)

Monday August 1: Australia vs South Africa (14:30-17:30)

Wednesday August 2: Australia vs Rwanda (14:30-17:30)

Prediction

2nd (Silver Medal)

The team is expected to go far in the competition, but their end result will depend on their team chemistry. Relatively new to playing with each other, McHugh will need to lead by example and guide the team to victory and a podium spot.

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