AUSTRALIAN beach volleyball Olympians are heading to Scarborough in a bid to secure their spot in the Commonwealth Games team.
Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be taking on local and international talent at the Volleyball WA State Open next weekend.
The event is the final qualifying event for the upcoming Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“We’re both looking forward to getting back out there and competing together again,” Artacho del Solar said.
“The aim for the WA Open is obviously to win and get back into the swing of things.
“We ended last year really well with some World Tour wins, so we want to continue that form.”
The duo missed the recent World Tour beach volleyball event in Victoria to focus on the WA State Open and Artacho del Solar said the Scarborough event would be the first step in restarting their Gold Coast campaign.
“Our connection is pretty natural and it doesn’t take long to get back into things,” she said.
“We want to execute our game style and focus on getting ready for the international season.”
Hong Kong will field a women’s and men’s team, with men’s players Wong Pui Lam and Lau Tsz Ho Kelvin to represent their country at the Asian Championship later this year.
“We’re both excited to be in Perth for the State Open, the beaches have been really good for training and we’re excited to get some competition in,” Kelvin said.
Australian men’s players and 2017 State Open finalists Jason Fox and Mark Van Winsen are hoping for a win.
“Last year we had a really good lead in and had a bit of confidence going into the Open,” Van Winsen said.
“We’ve had similar success this year, so we’ll be there to win.
“It’s a long process and this year we have a lot of good teams so you never know what might happen.”
The event is at Scarborough Beach on February 17 from 7am and finals will run on February 18 from 9am, with the women’s grand final at 12.30pm and men’s grand final at 1.30pm.
For details, visit www.volleyballwa.com.au.