Eyes on Pata for 2020 Olympics

Miller Pata at Stade Beach Volleyball Court. Photo: Anasilini Natoga

It is now or never for Vanuatu Beach Volleyball women’s captain, Miller Pata and her team as they prepare to qualify for the 2020 Japan Olympics Games which will be held on July 24 to August 9.

The team has been sacrificing during their off season programme, training out in the hot sun, running few sand dunes along the beach and working with Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee’s new Strength and Conditioning coach, Jason Quelch.

Last year was an amazing finish for Miller who competed in 11 tournaments (FIVB or AVC) finishing in the top five. In five of those tournaments - the best being a first in Chinese Taipei in August.

There was also Gold at Samoa 2019 Pacific Games and Gold at the Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia Olympic Games qualification is a key focus for Miller now in the Continental Cup phase one which should be played either next month or March culminating in the final qualification phase three in China on June. The Continental Cup phase one qualification was scheduled to be held in Fiji last year in December but was postponed to another venue this year due to the measles outbreak in Fiji. In an earlier interview with Pata she said; “Preparation has been going on well, we are fortunate to have a new strength and conditioning coach Jason Quelch who’s been with us. “We know it will not be an easy competition but we look forward to it,” Patasaid.The team will be hungry for a gold in the first phase of qualification to qualify automatically for phase three qualification next year but it would be a tough road for the side as only top 15 teams in the World will compete at the Olympics and there is only one spot from the Oceania region available.

“We will continue to prepare for the best,” Pata added.

If Miller and her brigade survive the two phases of qualification then Tokyo awaits our Beach Volleyball women who have done so much in making the country proud not only in their participation but winning gold medals and medals of any colours.

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