Beijing, China, June 11, 2011 – Second seeds Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego of Brazil claimed back-to-back FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour title after rallying past fourth seeds Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann from Germany in three sets in the worldwide televised men’s gold medal match of the Beijing Grand Slam Saturday afternoon.
Alison/Emanuel, who snapped a nine-tournament winning streak connecting 2010 and 2011 of Beijing Olympic champions Rogers/Dalhausser to capture their first FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour title together two weeks ago in Prague, dropped the first set before coming back to beat the German duo 15-21, 21-19 and 15-8 in 50 minutes and split the top prize of $43,500.
“We are glad to beat them in the final. They had a really good event, we saw every match they played,” said Emmanuel. “Today in the first set they were incredible, they did not make mistakes, they just played their best and they were unbeatable in the first set. Then We tried to make some difference, tried different style, different strategy from the start of the second.”
The second set was hotly contested as neither team could pull away. After the Brazilians went up 20-18, Reckermann had a kill to make it one-point game, but a serving mistake of Brink awarded the match to the Brazilians.
“I am glad to be part of the ‘almost Olympics’, stadium again and the Olympic dream was reminding me of the memory three years ago when I got the bronze here,” said Emanuel, who won the third place at the Beijing Games with Ricardo Alex Costa Santos.
It’s the 72nd FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour title for the 38-year-old Emanuel and the first Grand Slam title for the 25-year-old Alison.
“I am very happy with this tournament, it’s my first title at Grand Slam event and I am very excited about it,” Alison said at the post-match press conference through interpretation of Emmanuel.
Brink/Reckermann regretted about losing the chance to win their fifth World Tour title, but were satisfied with their overall performance in the Chinese capital.
“Overall it’s a big success for us. We are a little bit disappointed right now because we lost the final, but it was a really good tournament for us,” said Reckermann. “I was injured last week, so it’s good for us to come back and get a good rhythm for the World Championships. We played some really good matches and we are really happy to get the second place on the Grand Slam.”
Earlier on Saturday, 19th seeds Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher of Switzerland swept Poland’s 24th seeds Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek 21-18 and 21-16 to take home the bronze medal.
“It’s great, last time I was on the podium was four years ago. I am really happy and it would be nicer if we could have done it three year ago,” said Heuscher. “For us it’s really important because we got a lot of points for the next Olympics.”
“We are a new team, it’s never easy for a new team. We practiced a lot you but you never knew when it would work out and now it’s the first big success for us as a team,” he added. “Now we are looking forward to the World Championships.”
The $600,000 Beijing Grand Slam is the first FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Grand Slam of the year with the Chinese capital welcoming back international beach volleyball for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games.
The inaugural Beijing Grand Slam is the third of 12 double-gender events on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, which also includes three single-gender events for women, two single-gender events for men and a special 24-team Olympic test event in London August 9-14. The World Championships will start on Monday in Rome.