Edinburgh’s Robin Miedzybrodzki booked a dream place at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia where he will play in the inaugural beach volleyball competition.
Miedzybrodzki and partner Seain Cook, originally from Perth, came out top in the men’s competition at the Commonwealth Qualifying tournament in Larnaca, Cyprus, at the weekend.
The Scottish pair, both part-time, upstaged hosts Cyprus in the deciding match 25-23, 18-21, 20-18 to spark wild celebrations in the Scottish camp.
It was reward for all the work the pair have put in over the last couple of years when learning that beach volleyball was to be included in the Games for the first time at Gold Coast 2018.
Self-funded, they have travelled to competitions throughout the UK and abroad in an attempt to improve their world ranking but they were not expected to beat the Cypriots on their own patch. Miedybrodzki, whose wife Shauna played in the beach volleyball competition at the London Olympics in 2012, has campaigned for Scotland to have an indoor beach centre to give youngsters the chance to take up the game.
A former Scotland indoor internationalist and City of Edinburgh player, he has chanced his arm in the beach game and now gets his reward.
“It’s a fantastic achievement by the boys; I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Margaret Ann Fleming, chief executive of the Scottish Volleyball Association.
“They have worked really hard for this and timed their schedule to perfection. This will be the first time Scottish volleyball has been represented at a Commonwealth Games and it’s just wonderful news.
“There was a lot of pressure on Robin as Shauna is expecting their second baby any day now and for him to take five days away was a big thing.
“But Shauna was fully supportive and she knows the demands of a high performance athlete.”
Lynne Beattie and Mel Coutts were also hoping to book their Commonwealth Games place in Larnaca. They finished third in their competition after a narrow loss to top English pair Vicky Palmer and Jess Grimson who won the event and qualify.
But the road does not end here for Beattie and Coutts, who train daily at Portobello. They can still qualify for Gold Coast 2018 through their world ranking but have only six weeks left of the qualification process.