Beach volleyballer Mariafe Artacho del Solar warms up for Gold Coast Games action at Coolangatta.New beach volleyball partners Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar believe their unbeaten record is only the beginning as they eye Commonwealth Games gold.
The two only came together as a team on the beach volleyball court last October, and haven’t lost a match on either the Asian Tour or the FIVB World Tour since.
But on the eve of the biggest tournament they have played together, they have sounded a warning to the other nations.
“We’re still growing our team and our strengths … we’re just starting,” Peruvian-born Artacho del Solar told AAP.
“This is a stepping stone towards (the next Olympics) … one step at a time.”
The pair have faced very little adversity in their six-month run together, having dispatched the majority of their opponents with relative ease.
They will take the court at Coolangatta hot favourites for a Games gold medal, but their tremendous record means they are yet to be tested in a tough situation where they are trying to dig themselves out of a hole.
“The main thing is the trust and belief that we have in each other and we have in ourselves,” she said.
“That really helps us to stay calm in pressure situations.”
And when it comes to pressure, Artacho del Solar says she has no problem doing the dirty work.
“I do everything to get the ball, I’m a fighter,” said the 24-year-old, whose family moved to Sydney when she was 11.
“That hassle that Taliqua and I bring is very important … it makes it hard for the opposition as well, constantly having to find a way to put the ball down.”
Clancy and Artacho del Solar start their Games campaign against Cyprus pair Mariota Angelopoulou and Manolina Konstantinou on Friday.