Alice Zeimann and Emily Johnston have taken home a silver medal at the Under 19 Beach Volleyball Asian Championships held in Laos overnight.
Zeimann (from Christchurch) and Johnston (from Tauranga) went through pool play and three rounds of knock-out matches without dropping a set, beating teams from Thailand, Kazakhstan and Laos. In the final they met Thailand #1 team, Khongchaloem/Kawfong, who had defeated Japan and China to advance to the final.
The first set of the final was a tight contest with Thailand edging out a small lead and holding on to take the set 21-17, the second set was more of a one sided affair with Thailand asserting their dominance and cruising comfortably to victory 21-11, and the match 2-0.
This result qualifies NZL for the Under 19 World Championships, which will be held in Cypress, July 26-31, and will feature the top 32 teams in the World. NZL women's best ever result at the U19 World Championship came in 2007 when Rachael Morgan and Hannah Croad finished 9th.
Zeimann and Johnston have also put their names into the mix for selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where beach volleyball will feature for the first time. Both players are already competing on the NZL national tour and registering top 8 results, now this international experience will make them a tough team to beat this summer.
Also competing for NZL Daniel Kilpatrick and Greg Vukets placed 5th, they also only lost 1 match a Quarterfinal to Iran. Jasmine Milton and Holly Chandler finished in 11th place, winning 3 out of their 5 matches, so a brilliant effort all round.
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