Anna Harrington / AAP News
Australia’s new beach volleyball guns Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett have beaten the Maldives 21-13 21-17 in an ideal start to their Commonwealth Games campaign.
McHugh was part of the gold-medal-winning pair on the Gold Coast but has now teamed with youngster Burnett as he attempts to defend his title.
The partnership delivered in Saturday’s opening match of the pool round at Smithfield, where McHugh and Burnett took 38 minutes to beat Sajid Ismail and Adam Naseem.
“Got the win, that’s all we’re looking for,” McHugh told reporters.
“Can take a lot of positives out of it, we’ve got a lot of things to work on.
“(It’s) Paul’s Games debut, he did a great job so he’s only going to get better from here and really looking forward to the rest of pool play.”
Burnett, 24, is expected to improve after settling his nerves.
“One hundred per cent (I had nervous energy), I think it’s to be expected. I’ve never played in front of this many people before,” he said.
“But we put some good stuff out there and enough to build on throughout the week.”
McHugh and Burnett next face South Africa on Monday and Rwanda on Wednesday.
Women’s pairing Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, silver medallists on the Gold Coast and at the Tokyo Olympics, start their campaign against Sri Lanka on Sunday.