Beach finals to push case for Gold Coast 2018

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Volleyball Australia is banking on a big crowd turning out for the final day of the Australian Beach Grand Slam at Surfers Paradise to boost its case for late inclusion in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Volleyball Australia President, Craig Carracher, has not given up hope of convincing Games organisers to reverse their decision not to include the sport in 2018.
 
"They raised a couple of concerns with our initial bid, and we believe we have addressed those concerns," Carracher said.
 
"If there was any one sport that highlights Australia and it's culture, it's beach volleyball. And we are confident that will be further underlined by a big turnout for Monday's finals.
 
"We will continue to lobby, continue to make the case. We think it makes a lot of sense, we just need to convince the organisers."

The new beach volleyball pairing of Chris McHugh and Bo Soderberg will start favourites to win the men's event on Monday. 

McHugh teamed up with the veteran Soderberg after regular partner, Isaac Kapa, underwent shoulder surgery.

The new pairing tasted immediate success, winning the opening round of the Grand Slam at Manly Beach in November.

But they’ll face a big challenge just to get past the semi-final, with Melbourne-based Josh Court and Damien Schumann in good form this weekend.

Court and Schumann enjoyed some success on the World tour late last year, and are hoping to challenge for Australia’s 2016 Olympic team.

Another team with an eye on Rio, WA’s Casey Grice and Cole Durant, will take on New Zealand’s Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea.

Watson and O’Dea are the dark horses on the Gold Coast, having won the Oceania Championships at Manly in November.

In the women’s draw, teams are taking advantage of the absence of Australia’s top-ranked pair, Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy.

World under 23 champions Nikki Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar will start slight favourites to take the title.

Olympian Becchara Palmer has been forced to find a new partner for Surfers Paradise, after regular partner Zina Stone was forced through injury to take a break.

26-year-old Palmer, who is hoping to qualify for her second Olympics, has teamed up with Manly Beach’s Katie Bartoli in Queensland, but is on the lookout for a new long-term partner.

Palmer and Bartoli will take on former World junior champion, Alice Rohkamper, and her partner, Sarah Battaglene.

Queensland’s hopes in the women’s draw rest with teenagers Phoebe Bell and Stephanie Weiler.

The men’s final will start at 2pm, with the women set to begin at 3pm.

National Junior Beach Volleyball Development Camp

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On Monday 18 January 39 Girls and 26 Boys aged 13-18 arrived in Brisbane for a National Junior Beach Volleyball development camp.

The athletes and coaches stayed nearby at Griffith University and trained at Nat Cook’s Sandstorm venue.

Vale - Harry Gordon – A great Australian

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Volleyball Australia would like to extend their condolences for the loss of a great Aussie contributor to Olympic Sport.

The National Women’s Program commenced the ‘90’s ranked 6th in the Asian zone and maintained this ranking throughout the decade, due in part, to the strong nature of women’s volleyball in Asia with teams like China (1st), Japan (7th) and Korea (8th) all ranked in the top 8 of the world at the time. 

2014GP HynesPassing

With the support of the Australian Institute of Sport (from 1993 to 2004) the Australian Senior Women's Volleyball Team entered the new century with an appearance in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where they placed 9th, beating Kenya in the process and taking a set off Croatia.  With this result, the Program achieved its highest ever world ranking of 14th following the games. 

A new look Women’s Team qualified for a second World Championships in September 2001, and achieved a 6th place finish at the 2001 Asian Championships in the same year. In 2002 Australia competed in the 2002 World Championships held in Germany eventually finishing 21st at the event.

Australia was unsuccessful in their qualification attempts for the 2006 World Championships and, after a period of rebuilding following the move to a camps-based Program, through the revitalised Women’s AVL competition format sees the team keen to build on their 9th placing at the 2013 Asian Championships. Their historic inclusion in the 2014 Women’s Grand Prix (Division 3) will surely see the team improve as they additional match experience against quality teams ranked between 13 and 25 in the world.

 

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