Vanuatu's champion beach volleyball team is chasing history this weekend as they bid to qualify for the Olympic Games.
The Commonwealth Games bronze medallists won the Asian Continental Cup's Oceania Qualifier last year to move one step away from Tokyo before Covid-19 intervened.
Sixteen months on and the Continental Cup Final will finally get underway in Thailand today, with eight countries vying for the last qualifying spot in the men's and women's draw.
Vanuatu Volleyball President Debbie Masaufakalo said, after a long wait, they are ready to compete.
"We really enjoyed our training camp preparation so I think our heads are now in the zone and we're looking good so we look forward to a successful event."
This is Vanuatu's third Olympic cycle, with the Pacific trail-blazers falling just short of qualifying for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.
"We've got three of the girls who were in that Rio campaign that were at the Continental Cup in Cairns, so Miller Pata, Loti Joe and Sherysyn Toko were in Cairns," Masaufakalo explained.
"They can draw on that experience from Cairns and draw the strength that they know what to do here in Thailand to get the job done."
Pacific Games gold medallists Pata and Toko will be the top pairing in Nakhon Pathom, with Loti Joe and Majabelle Lawac playing as the second team.
Vanuatu has also assembled an all-star coaching team, with former Italy international Federica Tonon and Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medal winning coach Steve Anderson guiding the players.
"He's the best coach in the world," enthused Masaufakalo of a man who coached the Australian women's to gold at the Sydney 2000 Summer Games.
The squad, minus Anderson, departed Port Vila three weeks ago, after receiving their initial Covid vaccinations, and quarantined in Jakarta before Bali for a ten day training camp that was equal parts luxurious and demanding.
"The resort organised a beach volleyball court out the front and it had a lovely gym and swimming pool and because of Covid there's no tourism in Bali.
"Everything was either closed or shut, so we were like in our own little training bubble at the resort so it was really cool."
Vanuatu's five athletes also managed to get in some valuable match practice against a group of local beach volleyball players.
"We had a little tournament with six teams, boys versus girls. I think our girls team went to the final with one of the boys teams, so it was really good to get some training in," Masaufakalo said.
"We did yoga every day (and) there's a few Vanuatu people that are now residing in Bali, so they were able to help us with beautiful meals - fresh, vegan and vegetables - so...we did yoga, we did meditation, so we really did the 'Eat, Pray, Love' Bali experience."
Vanuatu are seeded fifth in the women's draw and will play fourth seeds Japan in the first round on Friday.
The winner will meet hosts Thailand or Indonesia in the semi finals, with China, Australia, New Zealand and Kazakhstan lurking on the other side of the draw.
"A lot of these teams haven't played for 12 months due to Covid, so nobody has had a really good look at each other so anybody can beat (anyone) on a good day.
"The weather is really really hot...so there's so many factors at play, so I think for both men and women it's open-slate really."
The Continental Cup Final was moved from China, because of the ongoing risk of Covid-19, with teams only finding out last month where they would be competing.
"Hats off to the Thailand Volleyball Association," said Masaufakalo, Vanuatu's longtime President.
"Nobody else wanted to host this event so the pressure was on Thailand Volleyball Association ... they've done an amazing job with what limited time they've had."
Vanuatu arrived in Thailand to strict Covid-19 protocols, with multiple airport checks and everyone needing permission to leave their hotel rooms and bookings required for training and meal times.
Teams are only allowed to have two officials with them courtside, so Debbie Masaufakalo will be watching the action unfold from her hotel room.
"Myself and the first reserve player we have to stay in our room, so we can't even come down to support the girls," she said.
"Because there's no crowd and there's only allowed six spots for other representatives from other teams, and two officials per team are allowed to watch the match.
"So I have to stay in my room and scream from above."