The duo of Jasmine Rayner (QLD) and Cameron Zajer (SA) have earned a berth in the beach volleyball gold medal match, while our netball team will face off against South Africa, looking to claim the inaugural FAST5 Netball gold medal.
Taking to the sand against the New Zealand team of Kiana Stevenson and Tineke Hinton, Rayner and Zajer fought for every point, with the tenacious pair determined to claim the win.
Up against wet conditions, the tight competition saw the women take down New Zealand in two sets, both finishing 22-20.
“We’re stoked, that was so cool to get the win,” Rayner said.
“I was just trying to hold on. In the second set, we were down a bit and we just kept fighting, kept our eyes off the score to calm ourselves down and we’re stoked to get the win.”
“The rain was a surprise, but we held in there, the ball got a little bit heavy and slippery but it’s all right, but we’re used to playing in the rain, so it was cool.”
Their attention now turns to the gold medal match, where they’ll line up against Calinda Kok and Katarina Drozd of Canada.
Meanwhile Jett Rocker-Graham (NSW) and Mitchell Croft (VIC) defeated Rwanda’s Tristan Kayiranga and Francois D’assisse Mugisha in the first of their classification matches, before meeting South Africa’s Jayden Chrisitano Cupido and Deloshen Valaitham later in the afternoon.
“It was another game of volleyball and we’ve played tons this tournament, but it was good to be back out on the sand, against a team with really great sportsmanship and we had a blast,” Croft said.
“This one was our favourite match by far. It was good, happy vibe on the court, and it was really fun to play against them,” Rocker-Graham said.
At the Shaw Park Cultural Complex, a clinical Australian Team defeated hosts Trinidad and Tobago 64-2 in the final of their pool matches, before facing off against England in the semi-final later in the evening.
The team showcased the fast-paced action that FAST5 Netball is well known for, on their way to booking a ticket to the gold match with a final score of 44-25, as noted by Head Coach Elissa Kent.
“FAST5 is such a different game; we’ve got 10 unique athletes who all bring different skills and the challenge for me is getting them all on because they can all do a superb job,” Kent said.
“I think we saw that tonight, that any combination, any transition, we as a team can do well.”
For Captain Monika ‘Otai (NSW) and the rest of the team, the focus now turns to the gold medal match up that sees them take on South Africa.
“I think if we just stick to our own little bubble and not worry about the outside noise or the atmosphere, just what we can do as a team and stick to our processes, that’s what will get us over the line,” ‘Otai said.
The women’s beach volleyball concludes with the gold medal match at 3:00pm local (5:00am (+1) AEST) on Thursday 9 August, while the netball teams’ line up later that day at 5:15pm local (7:15am (+1) AEST).