Success at the Asian under 21 titles in Thailand

Australia’s Mears twins excel on the World Beach Volleyball stage with success at the Asian under 21 titles in Thailand

Sixteen-year-old twins, Kayla and Brianna Mears, have exceeded all expectations against much older players in finishing equal fifth at the U21 Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Thailand.

The equal fifth placing ensured that Australia qualified a women’s team for the under-age FIVB World Championships in Thailand in June.

Through the week long Asian Championships, battling extreme heat and humidity, Kayla and Brianna played against teams from Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong and China.

Making the result even more significant is the fact that the Brisbane-based sisters have only just celebrated their 16th birthday. Kayla said they made sure the age difference wasn’t a factor; “Yes we just turned 16, but we weren’t intimidated by the height or age of the other athletes. We’ve shown that we can keep up with older and more experienced players on the state and national level, and so this was really the next step. We just wanted to play our game and have fun in the process.”

It capped off an incredible couple of months beginning with securing a place on the team. Brianna said they embraced the confidence shown in selecting them for the Championships, “When we received the email that said we were successful in gaining selection to the U21 Asian Championships, it was as if every emotion just erupted from our bodies. Knowing this would be our first chance to prove ourselves on the beach at an international level, there was definitely a lot of screaming, crying and laughter.”

Both Brianna and Kayla believe they lifted to another level under the team environment, “The atmosphere was incredible. We had all the Aussie teams behind us, cheering us on. And we had the knowledge that many of our friends, family, coaches and supporters back home were following us on our journey. Sharing this experience as sisters and best friends is something we will never ever forget.”

In the true sense that it takes a community to produce champions, the twins say they couldn’t have achieved what they did without the support of their family, friends and coaches.

Both describe it as one of the best weeks of their lives. It’s fair to say there will be plenty more weeks like this for the Mears twins in the years to come.

The U21 Asian Championships also saw success for the Australian boys teams. Jarrah Brownhill and Ky Landers won the silver medal while Tyler Nix and Mark Nicolaides finished forth, after going down in the bronze medal game.