Commonwealth Games gold medalists reunite to win Asian Beach Volleyball Championships

Australia’s Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann have won the gold medal at the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships with a 2-1 victory over China in the final in Thailand.

To cap off an incredible day for the Australian Beach Volleyball team, Max Guehrer and Zac Schubert captured the bronze medal, with the gold won by Chris and Damien, it was Australia’s best men’s podium at the Asian Championships since 2016.

McHugh and Schumann who have reunited in the build up to qualification for the Tokyo Olympics defeated the Chinese pair of Ha/Wu 2-1 with the final score line 21:17, 14:21, 15:10.

Chris McHugh, now a 4 times Asian Champion says it’s a great start to 2020 after a break and serious injuries. “I’m ecstatic right now, I’m really happy for Damo and his first Asian Championship. It’s a proud day for Australian men’s beach volleyball and our push towards Tokyo 2020”.

Damien Schumann says the hot conditions were trying but they got the job done. “I’m really proud of the positive turn around after China defeated Mac and Zac yesterday. It was great taking it to China and defeating them today in front of a great Thai crowd and our fans back home. For me personally, I’ve won a few medals over the last few years, but I’ve never been able to get the gold one. So to do it at the Asian Championships back playing with Chris feels special”.

Guehrer and Schubert accounted for Kazakhstan 2-0 in the bronze medal game in the biggest result of their young careers.

Zac Schubert says it’s a great result in tough conditions. “This is the best result we have put together as a team. It’s nice to win so many matches in a row in challenging conditions. We will really enjoy this bronze medal tonight and then start to prepare for the FIVB in Cambodia in 4 days time“.

Max Guehrer says it’s a great moment. “It’s a really good first step, we still want two more steps up the podium, but a good start for our men’s squad and our broader goal of Tokyo 2020. I am really happy and proud of our team”.

Head coach Andrew Schacht says a proud moment for the Australian teams and the program, “The fantastic support from Mrs Rinehart and HANCOCK prospecting has given us the ability to support our current and up and coming stars in Beach Volleyball. The continued long term investment from Sport Australia has enabled Volleyball Australia to run a world class beach volleyball competition and training environment. We look forward to the continued support as we strive for success in Tokyo and building for the future with our talented athlete cohort and world class coaching team and support staff”.

Both teams now head to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the FIVB 2 Star tournament from the 20-23 February.