Some consistent performers on the 2022 G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Beach Tour were rewarded last Sunday with Tour Finals victories at the North Harbour Volleyball Centre in Mairangi Bay.
A regular on the Sunday podium over the five Tour events, Johann Timmer finished the summer on the top step in the final event, pairing up with Greg Vukets to claim the Auckland Tour Finals win 21-13, 21-14 over Giles Black and Jeremy Nielsen.
In the women’s competition, following three straight second-place finishes, Olivia Macdonald and Julia Tilley broke through to claim the final Tour stop with a 21-15, 21-15 win over Anna Harrison and Antonia Harrison.
But Sunday’s results didn’t impact the respective overall winners of the G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Beach Tour.
On the women’s side, Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley claimed overall victory on the Tour, proving too strong with four victories from four events.
The dynamic duo now goes offshore to test themselves in Mexico before coming home via a Futures event in Australia.
Polley says the pair were delighted with their work on the G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Beach Tour this summer, including taking the National Championship on their home beach in Mt Maunganui earlier this month.
“We are super stoked to have won New Zealand tour champs this year after training hard all summer.
“We have had lots of things that we had been working on in training and we are proud that we were able to successfully implement them on the tour,” Polley said.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side of the competition, Brad Fuller and Sam O’Dea were overall winners, with the key moments coming from the duo’s sweep of the two South Island Tour events in Tasman and Christchurch in February.
For Fuller, the two wins were his first on Tour – a feeling he wants more of now he’s tasted it.
“Going from not having won an event before to wining the Tour is special,” Fuller said.
“Popping the champagne on top of the podium is a great feeling. There is no better feeling than having all the hard work this year pay off.
With that personal milestone now ticked off, he and O’Dea have now shifted focus to the next big target.
“We have another week in New Zealand before setting off to lock in our selection for the spot at Commonwealth Games, starting in Coolangatta for Australian Champs and FIVB Futures event.
“We then go to Thailand for an event before coming back to New Zealand and training. If successful in getting the Commonwealth Games selection, we will be heading back overseas to compete around Europe in preparation for the Games in June.”
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