TODAY |

NZ men's beach volleyball team one step closer to Olympic qualification

The New Zealand men's beach volleyball team of Sam O'Dea and Mike Watson have stunned Commonwealth Gold medallists Australia 2-0 in the Continental Cup at Mount Maunganui beach, taking them one step closer to the Tokyo Olympics.

The duo have only had one training session together, with Watson getting the late call up after Sam's brother Ben O'Dea had to pull out of the tournament due to injury.

The Beach Blacks' victory secures them an automatic spot in the final round of the Olympic Qualifiers. There's just one catch, that event is hosted in China.

There's no information as to whether it will still go ahead, but it's highly unlikely with more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths in the country.

The women's team of Shaunna Polley and Julia Tilley finished second at the Continental Cup tournament.

They also earned themselves a spot into the next round of qualification, that is also hosted in China.

New Zealand have had an Olympic beach volleyball team just once before, at the 1996 games in Atlanta.