Wellington,New Zealand, April 1,2018-New Zealand’s elite men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams depart the country this weekend for their inaugural appearance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Beach volleyball has been added to the Games schedule for the first time this year and the men’s duo of Sam and Ben O’Dea and women’s pair of Shaunna Polley and Kelsie Wills are strong medal contenders.
New Zealand head coach Craig Seuseu said the teams were well prepared and ready for the Games.
“Our athletes are ready for this new opportunity as beach volleyball creates history as a Commonwealth Games sport.”
Following their win at the National Beach Championships the women’s team of Shaunna Polley and Kelsie Wills travelled to the United States of America to compete in the illustrious FIVB Major 5-star event ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The duo claimed a win in the first qualifying round against Thailand and then a loss to eventual silver medallists Brazil.
The O’Dea brothers head to Gold Coast on the back of a European campaign which saw them competing against Europe’s best in the Netherlands where they finished in fourth place at the Blooming Beach Aalsmeer tournament.
The brothers also have the honour of featuring in the opening match of the Games against Dimitris Apostolou and Georgios Chrysostomou of Cyprus on April 6.
Polley and Wills will take to the sand for the first time against Denyse Mutatsimpundu and Charlotte Nzayisenga of Rwanda on April 7.
Both men’s and women’s medal events will be held on April 12 at the Coolangatta Beach venue.
The full schedule can be viewed online at https://results.gc2018.com/en/beach-volleyball/daily-schedule.htm.
For more information, see volleyballnz.org.nz
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