Our beach volleyball stars have their sights set on gold: Australian women’s team dominate China to set up quarterfinals at Tokyo Games
- Mariafe Artacho de Solar and Taliqua Clancy beat China in quarterfinals
- The Australians trailed 15-13 and then 16-14 before dulling the Chinese
- Australia has not won women’s beach volleyball since the 2000 Games in Sydney
Australia’s Mariafe Artacho de Solar and Taliqua Clancy have shaken off a tough challenge from China to win in straight sets and reach the quarter-finals of women’s beach volleyball.
The Australians meet either world champions Canada or Spain after beating Xue Chen and Wang Xinxin 22-10 21-13 in 41 minutes.
But the round of 16 match was closer than it looked, with China pushing the bronze medalists of the 2019 World Championship into the opening set.
Pictured: Team Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar #1 and Taliqua Clancy #2 react as they take on Team China in the Women’s Round of 16 beach volleyball on day nine of the Tokyo 2020
Wang Xinxin, from China, returns a shot during a women’s beach volleyball match against Australia at the 2020
Team Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy react after beating Team China in the Women’s Round of 16 beach volleyball
Wang Xinxin, from China, reacts to a play during a women’s beach volleyball match against Australia
After Australia broke out on a 4-1 lead, China rallied and kept pace.
The Australians fell behind 15-13 and then 16-14 before dulling the Chinese and getting ahead.
After saving two set points, Australia secured their first and the momentum was with them.
They broke out with a 20-10 lead and while China managed to save three match points, the threat was over.
The only notable blemish in Australia was six service errors to one.
Team Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar #1 takes on Team China at the Tokyo Olympics
Mariafe Artacho del Solar, center, from Australia, takes a shot as Xue Chen, left, from China, and teammate Wang Xinxin, right, defend during a women’s beach volleyball
Xue Chen, right, of China, returns a shot as Taliqua Clancy, of Australia, waits to defend during a women’s beach volleyball match at the 2020 Summer Olympics
Xue Chen, from China, dives for the ball during a women’s beach volleyball match against Australia
Canadian world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes play against Spain’s Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo on Monday morning, with the winner facing Australia the next day.
The Canadians defeated Artacho de Solar and Clancy to win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Australia has not been on the Olympic podium in women’s beach volleyball since Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst won gold at the Sydney Games.
These are the second Olympics for Artacho de Solar, 27, and Clancy, 29, but their first as a combination since they first played together in 2017.