Australia have taken both Silver and Bronze medals in the Mens FIVB World Tour Beach Volleyball event this afternoon in Shepparton, Victoria.
Defending champions and Australia’s number one ranked mens team of Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann came up against a tough and determined team from the USA in the final.
James Avery Drost and Chase Frishman from California made it all the way to the Gold Medal match as qualifiers and had answers for everything the locals threw at them taking the first set 21-17.
The Aussies had moments of brilliance showing that when their combinations click they are world class but sustained pressure from the Americans stopped the Aussies building any type of sustained momentum.
The USA team were very emotional with their win.
“We are so grateful for todays win. We highly respect our opponents they are up there with the best in the world and for us to get a victory here today is beyond belief. “said Drost.
For the Aussies it was a missed opportunity but gave credit to a quality opposition on the day.
“The USA played really well we didn’t play our best but we had a good tournament, we made some good improvements” said Chris McHugh.
Damien Schumann admitting their hopes of being selected to represent Australia at this years Commonwealth Games is always in the back of their minds.
“Its definitely been in the back of our minds since it was announced 12 or so months ago. Its something that would be a great honour but we have just got to keep training and keep playing and keep better and if we get selected then we get to go so see how we go.” Said Schumann.
Australia’s next best men’s team of Zachery Schubert and Cole Durant were convincing Bronze Medallists with a crushing win over German team Dollinger/Kluzer (21-10, 21-13).
Schubert/Durant continue to impress and apply pressure to McHugh and Schumann for that one Australian mens team that will go to the Commonwealth Games.
“Really proud to take some risks out there today and let our game fly “ said Durant.
Australia’s number one womens team of Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar missed this tournament with Clancy still nursing a foot injury.
The womens final was an all USA affair with Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock winning a thrilling three setter against compatriots Jace Pardon and Caitlin Ledoux (21-17, 18-21, 15-12).
Photos from today’s competition: Downloadable from