Fearless Clancy's pre-Tokyo Games boost

·2-min read

Mexico's famed party destination Cancun has proved the unlikely Tokyo blueprint for Australian beach volleyball Olympic medal hope Taliqua Clancy.

Clancy and partner Mariafe Artacho del Solar endured a year without competition as COVID-19 halted the FIVB World Tour in 2020.

They were forced to wait until last month's three-leg series held in a Cancun bubble to seal their Games berth as one of the world's top-15 duos.

Clancy and Peru-born Artacho del Solar won the final event in Mexico and will arrive at Tokyo's Shiokaze Park in July optimistic they can match Sydney 2000 golden pair Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst.

"We're really confident; we've had so many great seasons now and it's just a feeling we have, on top of the results we've had," Clancy told AAP.

"Even with the unique preparation, we have it in us to go all the way because we've done a really good job of managing it.

"The Cancun bubble was amazing; it was great practice in the lead up to Tokyo and took a lot of fear out of how the management of COVID can be done in large groups."

Kingaroy product Clancy became the first Indigenous Australian to compete in Olympic beach volleyball when she partnered with Louise Bawden in Rio - moving undefeated into the quarter-finals before losing to the eventual bronze medallists.

One of just 52 Indigenous Australian Olympians, Clancy welcomed the release of the AOC's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in Brisbane on Wednesday.

The AOC this year enacted constitutional change to ensure enduring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island representation on the AOC Athletes' Commission, while former track star Kyle Vander-Kuyp will serve as Australia's Indigenous athlete liaison officer in Tokyo.

Former sprinter Patrick Johnson chairs the Indigenous Advisory Committee formed in 2019 and was also in Brisbane as hundreds of school students were put through their paces in a mini-Olympics.

The release follows a racially-based protest by Opals star Liz Cambage, who took umbrage with photos of predominantly white Australian Olympians in promotional images and threatened to boycott the Games.

"It (the RAP) was definitely needed; it's important to know there's a voice and someone who can support us even outside the federations and Olympic committee," Clancy said.

"I feel an even bigger support now from the AOC; it's another really great step forward to reconciliation and as an Olympic athlete we are a bigger team and we know we're supported and paving the way for future Indigenous athletes.

"The Olympics represents diversity and inclusion and it is reconciliation.

"All of us coming together and sharing our journeys ... it's great now that we are acknowledging our First Nations people more."