Sam O’Dea and Brad Fuller grabbed their maiden victory on the Beach Volleyball World Tour on Monday, claiming victory at the Futures event in Giardini Naxos in Italy.
After dropping their opening Pool C match on Friday, O’Dea and Fuller charged through the rest of the competition, winning five straight matches – all five going to three sets.
Three wins came on overnight on Sunday (NZ time) with the Kiwis taking successive Pool and Playoff wins over pairs from Argentina, Denmark and Holland.
Then came a three-set semi-final victory over Lithuanian pairing of Stankevicius and Knasas with the Beach Blacks claiming the third set 15-13.
After recovery, the kiwi pair then returned to centre court to finish the job – outlasting Italians Benzi and Bonifazi 17-15 in the third set to claim the gold medal.
The victory is believed to be the third win for a New Zealand pair on the world tour across men’s and women’s events.
Meanwhile, Beach Ferns Shaunna Polley and Alice Zeimann were competing in the same event in the women’s competition, reaching the quarter-finals before losing in three sets to eventual finalists Cools and Vd Vonder from Belgium.
Men’s pairing of Tom Hartles and Alani Nicklin won their first match in qualifying before falling in three sets to Hungarians Hajos and Streli.