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McHugh and Kapa signal Australian men’s renaissance

It has been a while since Australia’s men have enjoyed any success, with Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack’s 2007 World Championships bronze medal the last time the men from down under have had anything to shout about.

At the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013, Christopher McHugh and Isaac Kapa have shown that they are likely to be a pairing that will challenge the upper echelons of beach volleyball for the next few years.

“We are a new team and it is our first World Championships together and we had great success at the beginning,” McHugh said during the pool stages. “We are playing here day by day and trying to take it as far as we can.”

Having teamed up at the end of 2012, they won the AVC Asian Championships, then all five stops on the Australian Tour and two legs on the Asian Tour. Next up was the Fuzhou Open and a 17th place finish and their FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour debut at the Shanghai Grand Slam. Ahead of the World Championships they reached the second elimination round at The Hague and Rome Grand Slams and repeated that result in Mazury.

They started with two wins in pool play to finish second behind local favourites Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel, beat Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Janis Peda in the first elimination round, before they fell to fourth seeds Pedro Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil in the last 16.

McHugh is only 23, while Kapa is slightly older at 27, but it points to the chance for the pair to establish themselves among the top ranks of the sport and add an FIVB medal to those they have won on the continental and domestic tours.


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