Oly volleyball hopefuls dealt event blow

Steve Jancetic
Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho Del Solar have been forced to rearrange plans ahead of the Games

Australia's beach volleyballers have been dealt a blow in their quest to qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics after funding was removed for a key lead-up event on Sydney's northern beaches.

Volleyball Australia president Craig Carracher claims his organisation has been blindsided by a Destination NSW decision to discontinue funding for February's FIVB World Tour tournament at Manly Beach.

The tournament, which was to double as an Olympic qualifying event ahead of the 2020 Games, robs Australia's athletes of crucial home ground advantage in their bid to secure a Tokyo berth.

"It would have been a less mischievous way to share the news had it been delivered when we asked for it four, five, six months ago," Carracher told AAP, with the organisation left with no time to find a new host venue.

"It's a modest contribution from Destination NSW to ensure the event can go ahead, I don't see $400,000 as an extraordinary number compared to the $30 million they just put into the (new Sydney) speedway."

Carracher claimed Destination NSW had given every indication they would continue to provide the funding - as they had done for the past five years - for a world standard event he says generated a $4 million boost to the NSW economy.

But it is the impact on the nation's Olympic hopefuls he is most concerned about, with world No.3 pair Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy now forced to hastily rearrange plans ahead of the Games.

Artacho del Solar and Clancy will likely still qualify for the Games, having finished third at the world championships earlier this year, but athletes trying to secure Australia an extra berth now face a bumpier road.

Carracher admitted preliminary discussions with other states about hosting the event never progressed too far.

"We've had all those discussions, our problem was we were led to believe ... that this event was going to proceed at Manly Beach because Destination NSW had given us rave reviews about the event," he said.

"It's now November, the event's on in February. It can't go on in February somewhere else."

Carracher remained hopeful NSW government intervention could still save the event but admitted time was quickly running out.