Gold medals adorn deadly volleyball duo

Taliqua Clancy is already thinking about a second Olympic berth. Photo by AP.

Australian Beach Volleyball player Taliqua Clancy has finished off 2018 on top of her game, after claiming the best server award on the world tour.

The young athlete from Kingaroy in Central Queensland was voted the best server in the world tour after a successful year with team mate Mariafe Artacho del Solar.

The team won four world tour gold medals in Australia, Switzerland, Portugal and China, ultimately claiming bronze at the finals in Germany.

Clancy and Artacho won 77.4 percent of their matches (41 out of 53).

“I’m so proud of what we’ve done and achieved,” Clancy said.

“We set out some goals of what we wanted to achieve this year and I think we’ve actually reached all of them.”

Clancy became the first Indigenous Australian to play beach volleyball at the Olympics when she went to the Rio Games paired with Louise Bawden.

Artacho and Clancy joined forces in 2017 and have one eye on the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

2018 has been a reunion of sorts, the pair winning bronze at the Junior World Champs together in 2012.

“From the beginning we had a natural connection,” Artacho del Solar said.

“The trust and belief we have in each other is so strong, which makes it much easier to just focus on playing.”

“We’re both on the same page, competitive and always want to win.”

The 2019 World Tour will act as qualification for the next Olympics.

“We want to be consistent and take that momentum all the way to Tokyo,” Clancy said.

By Keiran Deck

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