International Volleyball

CARRACHER AND NICOLAIDIS COMPLETE AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC BEACH VOLLEYBALL SQUAD FOR PARIS

CARRACHER AND NICOLAIDIS COMPLETE AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC BEACH VOLLEYBALL SQUAD FOR PARIS

Information and photo courtesy of volleyball.org.au

Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis have been selected to the Australian Olympic Team for Paris, marking the first time Australia will have two men’s beach volleyball teams at an Olympics since Athens 2004.

The pair will make their Olympic debut competing under the Eiffel Tower, after being down match points in both of their final matches against Chinese opponents to win the Asian Continental Cup finals in China.

Twenty-four-year-old Carracher and 23-year-old Nicolaidis will join Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar and men’s debutants Zachery Schubert and Thomas Hodges to complete the Australian Beach Volleyball team for Paris.

Carracher and Nicolaidis are Australia’s second youngest male beach volleyball team to ever contest an Olympics, behind only the duo of Julien Prosser and Lee Zahner at Atlanta 1996.

Australian Olympic Team Deputy Chef de Mission Bronwen Knox announced the team in Brisbane, where the pair are putting the finishing touches on their Australian preparation before heading to Europe.

“I’m thrilled to announce Izac and Mark as part of the Australian Olympic Team for Paris,” she said.

“When we announced the first four beach volleyball athletes last month, Izac and Mark had a massive challenge ahead of them, needing to win the last chance Asian Continental Cup finals to earn the final quota. The pair showed incredible drive and belief, coming from behind in both the semi and the final, including saving match points in the semi-final, to keep their Olympic dream alive.

“This marks the first Games since Athens 2004 where Australia has had two men’s beach volleyball teams, which is a great sign for Volleyball Australia’s performance program. Congratulations Mark, Izac and everyone who has helped you reach this Olympic milestone.”

Queenslander Nicolaidis competed at the 2018 Youth Olympics, and is still coming to terms with achieving the Paris 2024 selection.

“To be honest it’s still sinking in, it doesn’t feel too real yet,” he said. “We sat in an office at the start of the year and put all the cards on the table and said ‘we’re going to throw absolutely everything at Continental Cup’.

“Every decision we made was for that tournament. Izac and I had countless sleepless nights in the lead-up thinking of all the scenarios – both the good, but also the depressing lows that could have happened. We went in prepared,…

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