2018-08-28 10:04:00 CEST

Seventh heaven for Aussies

Taliqua and Mariafe hail Hamburg bronze

Mariafe (left) and Taliqua celebrate at the end of their bronze medal match victory in HamburgMariafe (left) and Taliqua celebrate at the end of their bronze medal match victory in Hamburg

What a first season together it’s been for Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar.

Thirteen tournaments, four gold medals, two bronze medals – the last of which came in Hamburg – and a silver medal at their home Commonwealth Games. Not many teams on the World Tour can boast such impressive instant success.

Yet the Aussie pair, who end the 2018 season as the seventh best women’s beach volleyball team in the world aren’t done yet.

For them, it’s just the start of a journey they believe can end with glory at the Tokyo Olympics, for which qualification for officially begins at the end of this week, on September 1.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve done and achieved,” Taliqua said. “We set out some goals of what we wanted to achieve this year and I think we’ve actually reached all of them.

“I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position to start the Olympic qualification. We definitely want to be the best even though we’re in our first season, we want to be consistent and take them momentum all the way to Tokyo.”

Mariafe was equally happy to take a bronze in the end-of-season spectacular in Hamburg after a rollercoaster season that they believe can set the Australians up for a serious challenge at next season’s World Championships and beyond.

“We’re a fresh team and I think we’ve done really well in our first season as a team,” said the 24-year-old defender. “It’s kind of a place of where we can keep going and where we can take our team.

“We’re really competitive and keep working hard and keep setting new goals. We can keep growing and take the team to another level.”

The moment the bronze medal was captured at the Red Bull Beach ArenaThe moment the bronze medal was captured at the Red Bull Beach Arena

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