Saxton/O’Gorman win FIVB Sydney event – Next win for Aussie golden girls
Ben Saxton and Grant O’Gorman (Canada) won their first gold medal at the FIVB World Tour. At the Sydney 2-star event of the 2018 World Tour, they won the final in two straight sets against Youssef Krou and Quincy Aye (France). William Kolinske and Miles Evans (USA) won the bronze medal in a close match against top seeds and local heroes Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann (Australia).
For Saxton/O’Gorman this is a great start as a new team on the tour after Saxton had been partnering with Chaim Schalk for many years who recently decided to play for the United States. In the Sydney final, Saxton/O’Gorman were the dominating team from the very beginning. Saxton’s strong serving forced the French into tough receiving trouble, especially in the first set that ended 21:8. O’Gorman showed a strong performance as well, always defending in the right place to receive the French attacks. Being a newcomer to the World Tour, O’Gorman credited his partner for their strong performance.
“I am sort of speechless. Sydney was an amazing place to win my first tournament. I am just so happy playing with Ben, such a skilled player!”
In the women’s competition, Australia’s Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy won their second World Tour event in a row after the 3-star in Qinzhou (China) in October. Since they joined forces in early October this year, this is their fourth consecutive win. In the final they beat Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia (China) in two sets showing a great performance. Very strong serving and consistent side-out helped them to gain early leads in both sets that could be continued to a 21:17, 21:14 win. For Mariafe Artacho the victory is a very emotional one since she started with beach volleyball at this exact spot at Manly Beach, Sydney.
“I love coming back home to Manly. This is where I began playing beach volleyball. It means so much to play here, but even more – to win.”
The Sydney event was the last FIVB World Tour event of the year. The tour will continue in 2018 with an important 4-star event in The Hague (Netherlands) from January 3-7. Check out the entire 2018 FIVB World Tour calendar.