Goldy on show in beach volleyball debut

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Taliqua Clancy (pic) and partner Mariafe Artacho del Solar won their opening beach volleyball clash.Beach volleyball’s debut in the Commonwealth Games was peak Gold Coast – sun, sand, high-rise apartments and, helpfully, an n win.
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The high-energy nature of the sport was matched by the enthusiasm of ‘s undefeated glamour girls, Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar.

They defeated Mariota Angelopoulou and Manolina Konstantinou from Cyprus 21-14 21-9 in the first round in front of a raucous and rocking stadium on Coolangatta Beach.

The beach is overlooked by several high-rise apartments, all of which had more than a few people on their balconies trying to see some Games action for free, with some flying n flags.

Although the ns took the lead early, Cyprus did fight back, making Clancy and Artacho del Solar work hard for the first set.

The second set started evenly before Clancy began to use her superior height of 184cm.

won several points in a row, taking Cyprus out of the game and they were never able to come back.

Artacho del Solar said there was no panic, even as the Cypriots started to find their feet.

“We just kept calm and cool. We have a strong belief and trust in each other,” she said.

Clancy acknowledged the impact the crowd had on the match.

“It was so much fun to have the energy of the crowd behind us. This is what beach volleyball is all about. It was perfect,” she said.

Their main rivals, Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Peredis, showed their class with a commanding victory over Fijian duo Iliseva Ratudena and Laite Nima 21-5 21-7.

It was a good day overall for , with the men’s team of Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann defeating Inia Korowale and Sairusi Cavula from Fiji 21-9 21-9 in the evening session.

The men next play St Clair Hodge and Shawn Seabrookes from St Kitts and Nevis on Sunday.

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