USA’s Bourne/Hyden win first World Tour gold in Berlin
Both teams came all the way from qualification, Bourne and Hyden even without losing a match. It was the first time in FIVB history two qualifying teams made it to the gold medal match of a Grand Slam.
“I don’t know what happened here”, said a stunned Bourne after the final. “We just ended up here.” Both players had never even won a medal of any colour before on the World Tour.
The 25-year old blocker and his 41-year old partner took a big lead from 2-2 in the first set. At 19-13 Doherty and Lucena managed to come back to 19-16, but after that Bourne and Hyden took over again to claim the set.
Despite some great digs by Lucena, Bourne and Hyden even created a bigger gap in the second with solid block-defence play and cutting around Doherty’s big block (2.14m). At 20-10 the ball bounced off Doherty’s block and the gold was theirs.
“No words can describe this”, said Hyden. “I have waited for this for a while. I had a great weekend. It rained a lot and I love playing in the rain. It’s been a great tournament. As I said earlier we just took one at a time.”
Hyden has played on the World Tour in 2002, 2011 and in 2013, but his best result so far was 17th place at the Long Beach Grand Slam in 2013 with Lucena.
Bourne’s World Tour debut was the Durban Open at the end of last year with Derek Olson (5th), and this year he teamed up with veteran Hyden to finish 25th in Fuzhou, 9th in Shanghai and Puerto Vallarta and 17th in Moscow so far.
“He is the most coachable guy I met”, Hyden said about his new partner. “He stuffed a lot of balls. I am really proud of him.”
His former partner Lucena collected his fourth silver, he won the first three with his partner for three years Matt Fuerbringer. Doherty, who played with Todd Rogers in his maiden season last year, won his first medal ever.
Bruno and Alison win bronze against former partners
Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Alison Cerutti ended up on top in an all-Brazilian bronze medal match against their former partners Emanuel Rego and Pedro Solberg Salgado: 21-13, 21-12. It was their second medal since they teamed up this season, winning silver at the Fuzhou Open in April.
Bruno and Alison dominated the match and were leading all the way. The closest Emanuel and Pedro came was three points behind (14-11) in the middle of the second set.
Still, Brazil vs. Brazil is always though, said Bruno. "We have played against each other for ten years already. We knew we had to focus and play strong mentally, don’t give them any chances, because Emanuel is a legend.”
It was hard to regroup after losing the semi to USA’s Doherty and Lucena. “A lot, but our team got us in the right direction again”, said Bruno. “But for sure, it was not easy. We were very tired physically. But it is always good to finish winning.”
Bruno had no problems playing against his old partner Pedro, with whom he won five medals last year. Alison played alongside Emanuel for four years, winning 11 medals, including the Berlin Grand Slam gold in 2012.
“We finished our partnership in a good way”, said Bruno. “We are still friends, as are Alison and Emanuel.”
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