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New Zealand secures maiden World Tour gold

18.01.2020 - Vienna, Austria

O'Dea and Griffin topped the podium of the one-star tournament in the Cook Islands

New Zealand joined the list of countries to have won Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medals by the hands of Sam O’Dea and Griffin Muller as the duo topped the podium of the men-only one-star event in the Cook Islands. It was the first World Tour tournament ever held in the country.

The Kiwis, who were playing together for the first time, secured their country’s first-ever gold medal with a 21-14, 20-22, 15-7 victory over Americans Christopher Austin and Earl Schultz.

While Griffin featured in just his second international event, O’Dea has won his second medal in 23 World Tour appearances. The 29-year-old blocker took bronze with his younger brother Ben in Shepparton, Australia, in 2017. The duo also finished third at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The New Zealanders were flanked by two American teams at the podium as Travis Mewhirter and 43-year-old Adam Robert finished third after they downed Japan’s Hitoshi Murakami and Takashi Tsuchiya 21-18, 22-20 in the bronze medal match.

The next World Tour event will be a women-only two-star in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from February 5-8.