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05/06/2017 21:18
Top-seeds from England take top honours at NEVZA zonal event in Denmark
News from the Zonal Associations

Kolding, Denmark, June 5, 2017. Jake Sheaf and Chris Gregory lived up to their status as top-seeds of the NEVZA zonal tournament at Beach Park Kolding as they took the top honours after suffering an unexpected setback earlier in the competition.

The hosts from Denmark had high hopes at the beginning of the final day of competition in Kolding with two of their teams in the semis. However, tandems from England and Norway eventually got the right to vie for the gold medal.

Kristoffer Abell/Daniel Thomsen never found their best game on home sand but one has to admit that the Norwegian team Lars Tveit Retterholt/Martin Olimstad delivered their best performance when it mattered the most. Still, the Danes left the court quite disappointed since they could not quite show the same level they had displayed since the beginning of the tournament. After a close first set, with the Norwegians leading most of the time, Thomsen/Abell came back towards the end but had to see Retterholt/Olimstad running to a 22-20 win. It was as if the last hope disappeared in the few clouds in the sky and in the second set the Norwegians were completely dominant (21-15), thus taking a spot in the final.

In the other semi-final, the top-seeded Englishmen were up against Danish hopes Morten Overgaard and Daniel Jonassen. It was a very exciting and nerve-racking match for the many spectators who mostly cheered for the Danish boys. The first set went to Overgaard/Jonassen 24-22 and in the second set the Danes had several opportunities to close the match and take the much-desired spot in the final. Gregory/Sheaf were able to cancel a few match balls before they came out on top at 24-22. In the third set, Overgaard and Jonassen always trailed one step behind and had to leave the victory and final place to Sheaf and Gregory, who closed the match at 15-12 in their favour.

The bronze medal match was an all Danish-affair where Overgaard/Jonassen proved to cope the best with the disappointment resulting from the semis and won relatively easily against Abell/Thomsen, 21-19, 21-16.

After that teams from England and Norway were to contest the final. Chris Gregory/Jake Sheaf still had a lot of energy despite a long and challenging tournament, thus rallying to a comprehensive 21-17, 21-18 victory over Retterholt/Olimstad to receive a loud round of applause from the many spectators who had enjoyed the good weather and a day packed with great Beach Volleyball actions.

Everyone deserved nice words to the organisers from the Kolding Beach Volley club, who were responsible for the delivery of the NEVZA tournament. From the friendly and smiling people in the food stand, the skilled secretaries, the hard working court crew, the sweet ball retrievers, and the organisers behind it all, everything ran just smoothly.

The victorious Gregory/Sheaf said after the medal ceremony: “It’s always nice to play here in Kolding, where everything always works fine. The fact that we were able to take the victory this year, of course, makes the experience even better. We are looking forward to coming back again next year.”

Click here for all results and the final standing.

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