2018-03-29 14:46:00 CEST
Your team-by-team guide to the men heading to Gold Coast
Damien Schumann / Chris McHugh (Australia)
World Tour regulars Damien and Chris will be aiming to continue the good form they showed in 2017 when they hit home sand at Coolantanga. The pair both played junior tournaments a stone’s throw from the arena, and will be one of the big favorites for gold. The experienced Australians joined forces last season and took gold in their first event, in Shepparton, in March. They followed that with a string of consistent displays at the highest international level, including a ninth place finish at the World Championships in Vienna. So far in 2018, the Australians won silver in Shepparton before narrowly exiting the Fort Lauderdale Major at the pool play stage.
Daneil Williams / Daynte Stewart (Trinidad & Tobago)
T&T’s national champions Daneil and Daynte qualified for the Games by virtue of their FIVB World Ranking. That’s thanks in part to the Daneil’s performance at the World Championships in Vienna last year where, together with Marlon Phillip, they came close to causing some upsets against big-name teams from Brazil, Cuba and Austria. At 17, Daynte will be the youngest athlete to hit the Center Court at Coolantanga. Daneil, meanwhile has a wealth of experience on the sand, with almost 50 tournaments under his belt on the North American/Caribbean tour.
St. Clair Hodge / Shawn Seabrookes (St Kitts and Nevis)
The Sugarboyz will be the oldest team to compete on the beach Down Under, with Shawn the oldest athlete at 38 to take part in the tournament. The Caribbean pair’s path to the Gold Coast came following qualification via the North American/Caribbean tournament. St. Clair and Shawn are no strangers to each other having competed together in a number of NORCECA events, with four top 10 finishes to their name in the North American/Caribbean tour events. The pair also studied together at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Sairusi Cavula / Inia Korowale (Fiji)
Fiji’s spot in the competition was secured thanks to a victory in the Pacific Mini Games in December. Sairusi replaced Qilu Elliot in the team after he had to pull out due to family commitments. While Sairusi has no World Tour experience, Inia made his debut on the world stage earlier this year when taking part in the one-star event in Shepparton. Together with Qilu, the pair finished in ninth, losing to Australians McHugh/Schumann.
Sam Pedlow / Sam Schachter (Canada)
Much like their female compatriots, the two Sams hold outstanding claims for a podium place on Coolantanga Beach. The pair joined forces after the 2016 Olympics – in which Schachter competed – and the 2017 campaign saw the new team impress. The Canadians claimed two top-five finishes, including at the Gstaad Major in July. The North Americans then went onto finish ninth at the World Championships, which saw them knockout Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai in the first elimination stage. Schachter also a former World Under-21 champion.
Robin Miedzybrodzki /Seain Cook (Scotland)
Scotland’s number one team booked their ticket to Gold Coast by winning the European qualification tournament in Cyprus. Robin has made a return to the beach having previously been a regular on the World Tour between 2008 and 2012. The duo warmed up for their Commonwealth Games by taking part in two World Tour events already in 2018 in both Qatar and Aaslmeer.
Sashimal Yapa / Asanka Pradeep (Sri Lanka)
Sashimal and Asanka secured their place at the Commonwealth Games via the Asian qualification tournament. Both players are regular competitors on the Asian beach volleyball tour but have yet to make their debut on the international stage.
Patrick Lombi / Abu Bakar Kamara (Sierra Leone)
African qualifiers Patrick and Abu already had a taste of the big beach volleyball stage having qualified for last year’s World Championships in Vienna. The duo are the youngest team in the men’s draw with Patrick 24 and Abu 21. In Austria last July, they failed to reach the elimination stage, but the duo can take heart from good performances against the likes of McHugh/Schumann of Australia and Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai.
Chris Gregory / Jake Sheaf (England)
Five-time British champions Chris and Jake are familiar faces on the World Tour and the pair warmed up for the Commonwealth Games at the Fort Lauderdale Major in February, narrowly losing in the qualification stage. The duo have posted two ninth places on the international scene and are also regulars on the European tour. Chris and Jake are the third seeds and booked their place thanks to their FIVB World Ranking.
Sam O’Dea / Ben O’Dea (New Zealand)
Kiwi brothers Ben and Sam are no strangers to the World Tour having competed 12 times together on the international stage. Sam has enjoyed plenty of success, winning the Asian Championships in 2011 and the Oceanic Championships in 2015. The siblings won a World Tour bronze medal together at the one-star event in Shepparton in March last year before just missing out on another third place in Aalsmeer in the Netherlands in March this year prior to the Games.
Dimitris Apostolou / Georgios Chrysostomou (Cyprus)
The Cypriot men’s team were handed a wildcard into the event on Coolantanga Beach. The tandem consists of experienced 33-year-old Dimitris and 21-year-old Georgios, who has represented Cyprus in youth level in beach volleyball, where he finished ninth in the Under-20 European Championships in 2015.
Carlos Acacio / Delcio Soares (Mozambique)
African wildcards Carlos and Delcio will be making their debuts on the international beach volleyball stage but the pair regularly play on the African tour.