Men’s beach volleyball pair Sam and Ben O’Dea have been named to the New Zealand team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Beach volleyball is making its Commonwealth Games debut at Gold Coast 2018 and the O’Deas will join the women’s pair of Shaunna Polley and Kelsie Wills to complete the New Zealand team.
Ben, the younger of the brothers at 25 years old, is eyeing his first Commonwealth Games experience with confidence.
“We are seeded fourth behind Canada, Australia and England. Canada are our closest competition and we have been back and forth in close games against the Australian teams for the past few years. England are also a solid outfit, but we are aiming for gold.”
The duo have had a relatively quiet competitive season due to injury but have been working hard to ensure they’re in the best form.
“While we haven’t competed much this year we have been training a lot so we are excited to compete,” said Ben.
Sam O’Dea said that being selected for the Commonwealth Games was an important milestone in their long term goal of representing New Zealand at the Olympic Games.
“Being selected for the Commonwealth Games is special, and with it being the first time beach volleyball has been played at the Commonwealth Games makes it even more exciting.”
“The Commonwealth Games selection helps us on our Olympic journey in many ways and is a great opportunity to put the sport in the spotlight and perform well for New Zealand.”
Above: Sam competing
Volleyball New Zealand CEO Paul Cameron says the organisation is extremely pleased to have its male beach athletes confirmed for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
"We are thrilled to have Sam and Ben representing New Zealand on the Gold Coast."
Sam and Ben have proven themselves through hard work and determination and fully deserve to be selected as the men's combination for the Commonwealth Games."
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the athletes.
"The O'Dea brothers are very well known in beach volleyball circles around the world and I'm excited to see them compete at a pinnacle event in just under two months time."
Beach Volleyball will be contested April 6th to 12th at the Commonwealth Games.
The naming takes the total number of athletes selected to the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team to 153.