2018-04-11 14:24:00 CEST
Just like the men’s tournament, it’ll be a Australia versus Canada battle for gold
Australia or Canada? That’s the question on the lips of everyone at Coolangatta Beach as home favorites Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho Del Solar and world number ones from Canada Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes booked their place in the Commonwealth Games final.
Both Beach Major Series regulars were at their brilliant best to guarantee both countries another medal, after Damien Schumann and Chris McHugh and Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter eased into the men’s final earlier in the day.
Pavan and Humana-Paredes once again underlined why they are one of the world’s most feared teams after they stormed past Cyprus pair Mariota Angelopoulou and Manolina Konstantinou in straight sets.
While their route to the final has been littered with potential slip-ups, the Canadians have avoided them all – and attention now turns to a final against opposition they know well.
“We’ve been amping thing up to get to this far and now it’s time to get down to business,” said Pavan. “We’ve played Taliqua and Mariafe before when they were with their previous partners.
“It’s concerning that we haven’t been super challenged up until now but we’re not worried. When teams score points against us they have earned it. We’re mindful that we need maximum effort on every single point. We never let up, we’re focused and strong and that effort and commitment we have shown is going to carry us in the final.”
With a first medal of the season in the bag, it’s just the color they have to fight for.
And Melissa is hoping both Canadian teams – whose partnerships are both in their early stages – can stand on top of the podium on Thursday.
“We’re really proud of the boys,” she said. “Canada has become strong a huge threat, we’ve become a powerhouse again and players are now fearful of playing Canadian teams again. We’re proud that’s the case across both genders and hope our performances here and help grow the sport even further.”
Meanwhile, the road to the final for Clancy and Artacho Del Solar was a little bit more bumpy for the Aussies, as the duo needed three sets under the Coolangatta floodlights to see off Vanuatu’s Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu.
“We knew this game wasn’t going to be easy,” admitted Clancy afterwards. “We’ve played them a lot on the Asian tour and we were well aware of the threat they posed.”
Thursday’s final will be the pair’s fourth final in five tournaments having won four gold medals in two World Tour events and two Asian tour events since they joined forces in October last year.
“We’re feeling good, we both know each other well and we’re enjoying playing together,” continued Taliqua. “It’s great that the partnership has began so well and we’ve clicked. We hope that we can do ourselves justice in the final but we know it won’t be easy.
“We’ll have the crowd behind us and that support was unreal. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Thursday’s gold medal match takes place at 8.30pm local time (AEST). The men’s final kicks-off at 4.30pm local time.
Beach elite head to China for crucial four-star action
Youth Olympians become youngest ever World Tour winners
The week in the sands of the world
World Tour winners and joy in Joao Pessoa