Canberra, Australia, March 3, 2018 – Australia stamped their dominance to clinch the men’s title at home, as New Zealand shattered the hosts’ dreams of sweeping both gold medals to capture the women’s crown at the Oceania Qualification Tournament for Youth Olympic Games in Argentina and the FIVB U19 World Championships in China.
Australians Ky Landers and Mark Nicolaidis continued their unbeaten run on Saturday, thrashing Keegan Joe and David Jeffery from New Zealand in the men’s showdown 21-13, 21-14 in just 31 minutes, but Kiwis Tamara Otene and Maya Dickson made amends to power past Aimee Coleman and Tiaan Smith from Australia 21-13, 21-12 to claim the women’s crown.
These results see both Australia and New Zealand take one step closer to a Youth Olympic and Under 19 World Championships ticket, with further qualification steps now available for the countries.
Western Australian Ky Landers said of his excitement about closing in on his Olympic dream. “Mark and I played a very solid event. We managed to keep our nerves under control, which was difficult at times. We haven’t allowed ourselves to think too far ahead at this stage but eventually we will have to start discussing the big events later this year.”
Fiji and Vanuatu took home the women and men’s bronze medals respectively. Fiji had an outstanding tournament, pushing silver medallists Australia in both their pool game and the semi-finals but still, they could not close out either match.
The tournament was a fantastic opportunity for the Oceania region to come together and demonstrate the high level of competition the region has developed. Mr Craig Carracher, the AVC Beach Volleyball Committee Chairman, the Oceania Volleyball President and Volleyball Australia President, said all the hard work is starting to pay off.
“We have all been working very hard over the last several years to develop the region’s ability to participate in and host elite beach volleyball. It is very exciting to see where we are now, and with the Commonwealth Games a month away, the future of Oceania Volleyball is very bright!”
Countries participating in the Oceania Qualification Tournament comprised Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, American Samoa, Vanuatu and Fiji, with Tonga being forced to withdraw days before the first match, due to an unexpected cyclone that hit the region.
Landers/Nicolaidis (Australia) b Aisi/Gima (Papua New Guinea) 2-0 (21-14 21-4); Joe/Jeffrey (New Zealand) b Chilia/Chilia (Vanuatu) 2-1 (21-11 17-21 15-10)
Fifth-place playoff: Jaydan/Sorovaki (Fiji) b Moalele/Luaiva (American Samoa) 2-0 (21-19 21-16)
Bronze medal match: Chilia/Chilia (Vanuatu) b Aisi/Gima (Papua New Guinea) 2-0 (25-23 21-13)
Gold medal match: Landers/Nicolaidis (Australia) b Joe/Jeffrey (New Zealand) 2-0 (21-13 21-14)
Otene/Dickson (New Zealand) b Ravo/Tebeim (Vanuatu) 2-0 (21-10 21-11); Coleman/Smith (Australia) b Uluilakeba/Tuilovoni (Fiji) 2-0 (25-23 21-19)
Fifth-place playoff: Punigogo Teno/Sina Tuata (Solomon Islands) b Velega/Fegauia’i (American Samoa) 2-0 (21-0 21-0) injury for team A
Bronze medal match: Uluilakeba/Tuilovoni (Fiji) b Ravo/Tebeim (Vanuatu) 2-1 (12-21 21-15 15-9)
Gold medal match: Otene/Dickson (New Zealand) b Coleman/Smith (Australia) 2-0 (21-13 21-12)
Joe/Jeffrey (New Zealand)
4. Aisi/Gima (Papua New Guinea)
5. Jaydan/Sorovaki (Fiji)
6. Moalele/Luaiva (American Samoa)
7. Kaipua Maitaki/Ngiumatangi (Solomon Islands)
1. Otene/Dickson (New Zealand)
2. Coleman/Smith (Australia)
3. Uluilakeba/Tuilovoni (Fiji)
4. Ravo/Tebeim (Vanuatu)
5. Punigogo Teno/Sina Tuata (Solomon Islands)
6. Velega/Fegauia’i (American Samoa)
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