Gstaad, Switzerland, July 29, 2007 - The only thing that Todd Rogers mishandled here Sunday was the opening of a champagne bottle after he and Phil Dalhausser won the men’s finale to give the United States a sweep of the gold medals this weekend at the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships powered by 1to1 energy.
After eliminating reigning Olympic champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil in the morning’s first semi-final match, Dalhausser and Rogers joined compatriots Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh as USA gold medal winners this weekend by defeating Dmitri Barsouk and Igor Kolodinsky of Russia 21-16 and 21-14 in the 45-minute finale.
In addition to sharing the US$60,000 first-place prize in the $1-million “Beach Volleyball Bash” in the Swiss Alps, Dalhausser and Rogers will benefit from the 1,000 points towards qualifying for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. A tandem’s best eight finishes on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour through July 20, 2008 will count towards qualifying for the 24-team field.
“This weekend was about Beach Volleyball, but not just about Beach Volleyball,” said the 33-year Rogers, who was named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships. “For me, these experiences are what I will remember. It not only is the competition, but it is about the fans in the stands, the beautiful surroundings and the overall atmosphere of good feelings generated this weekend.”
Rogers also added, that his partner “was the real outstanding player for the event. I bet Phil that he would be the SWATCH top player for the event since this was a homecoming for him and his family. I share this award with him as he is becoming one of the great players in the world. I am lucky to have him as a partner.”
Sunday’s title was the second SWATCH gold medal for the Americans, who won for the first time on the FIVB tour last August in Austria where Dalhausser and Rogers defeated Emanuel and Ricardo for the title. The next stop on the international circuit is next week in Austria where Dalhausser and Rogers will be defending their Klagenfurt title as the reigning SWATCH-FIVB World Champions.
“It is a tremendous feeling to win this title in front of my parents and relatives,” said the 27-year old Dalhausser, who lived a year in Switzerland before moving to the United States with his Swiss mother and German father. “We played two quality opponents today. Except for the second set against the Brazilians, we had a great day.”
Rogers and Dalhausser advanced to the gold medal match by posting a 21-16, 13-21 and 19-17 win in 68 minutes over Emanuel and Ricardo, who captured the 2003 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships in Rio de Janeiro before claiming Olympic gold the next year in Athens.
Barsouk and Kolodinsky, who shared $45,000 for second-place as the first Russian men’s or women’s team to play in a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal match in the 20-plus-year history of the International circuit, advanced to the title match with a 21-13 and 21-19 win in 45 minutes over Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack of Australia.
In the bronze medal match, Schacht and Slack ended Brazil’s run of men’s medals at the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships as the Australians upset Emanuel and Ricardo 21-17 and 21-19 win in 42 minutes to capture the $35,000 third-place prize. The Brazilians split $28,000 for fourth-place.
The eighth of 13 double gender stops on the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the women’s 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships ended Saturday with reigning Olympic champions May-Treanor and Walsh defeating Jia Tian and Jie Wang of China 21-16 and 21-10 for their third-straight world title.