VOLLEYBALL: The womens race for Commonwealth Games selection is wide open after Australia's highest ranked player Taliqua Clancy was forced out of the South Australia open on the weekend at Geelong Beach with an ongoing foot injury.
The injury plagued Clancy at the end of last 2017 however, she returned to the beach to take out the first Commonwealth Games selection event,the FIVB World Tour event at Volleyfest Manly, alongside her new partner Mariafe Artacho del Solar.
Their victory in Manly is the first international tournament win at home by an Australian women's team since Kerri Pottharst and Natalie Cook won Gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
The due are also the first Australian women's team to win an FIVB World Tour event on home sand since the women's World Tour began in 1992.
Artacho del Solar continued to impress the selectors at the SA Open but fell short of winning the Gold Medal in Adelaide with stand in partner Stefanie Weiler.
After the match Artacho del Solar said she hopes to get back on court with Clancy as soon as possible to keep their Commonwealth Games dream alive
"Taliqua is still in rehab, not getting worse which is a positive, hopefully she can be back on the sand very soon. I'm really looking forward to getting back on court with her for sure,” she said.
Clancy and Artacho del Solar have been unbeatable since forming for the Asian Tour in October 2017, winning four consecutive gold medals.
Australia's next best genuine contenders for national selection, Phoebe Bell and Jess Ngauamo, missed their opportunity to impress selectors, eliminated in the quarter finals in three sets.
Clancy is enjoying the new found partnership with Artacho del Solar and it's seemingly unstoppable success
"We work hard on our communication and allow each other freedom to play. Where playing tough so we've got to play at a high level all time,” said Clancy.
Clancy admits the call of the Commonwealth Games is strong.
"Definitely it's in our minds but right now we are just going to enjoy this moment. It's the end of a long season,” she said.
The final Commonwealth games selection event will be in Perth next month.
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