Two pairs of young New Zealand athletes claimed international honours on Friday, winning bronze medals at the 2023 Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinadad and Tobago.
Kiana Stevenson and Tineke Hinton stepped onto the podium in the women's event via a 2-0 victory over Kenyan pair Sharon Arusei and Abigael Chesebe.
The opening game was tight, with the Kiwis ultimately more composed at the end to win 22-20. The Kiwi pair learnt from the first game and were more clinical in the second for a 21-16 win, to take the match 2-0.
“I’m so stoked and proud,” said Hinton. “We definitely had to adapt to win that game but we did so really well and quickly and that helped us get that win.”
“We fought right to the end, it means so much to win a medal for our country,” added Stevenson.
Later in the day, New Zealand's men's pair of Calum Stewart and Juraj Krajci repeated the dose, claiming the win in their bronze medal match - a 2-1 victory over Cyprus' Alexis Savvidis and Anninos Chrysosotomou.
The Cypriots were ruthless in their first game against Kiwi pair Calum Stewart and Juraj Krajci, winning 21-12. The New Zealanders bounced back and improved, taking the next two games 19-21 and 14-16 to win bronze.
“That was a crazy three setter to finish the tournament,” said Krajci.
“It feels so great to win this medal and I can’t wait to call my mum and tell her.”
It’s the first time New Zealand's Beach Volleyballers have ever won a medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games.