The 2012 women’s Olympic beach volleyball competition will be
remembered as the moment when Misty May-Treanor and Kerri
Walsh etched their names indelibly into the folklore of the sport.
In the final they defeated their fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy
and April Ross 21-16, 21-16 in front of Britain’s Prince Harry and
15,000 other ecstatic spectators at Horse Guards Parade to win
their third consecutive Olympic gold medal.
It was a fitting end to the career of May-Treanor, who celebrated her
35th birthday during the competition, while for Walsh it was pure
relief. “It is one thing to play an Olympic final and another to play one
with people you know so well,” she said. “It ups the anxiety levels. I
was more nervous for that match than any other.”
For the early part of the final the teams traded points, but gradually
May-Treanor and Walsh pulled ahead and took the first set with a
powerful May-Treanor spike, before a service error at the end of the
second set gave them a third gold medal to go with the ones they won
at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
Kessy and Ross had also taken silver in the Olympic test event a year
earlier, but they were surprise finalists this time having won a tough
Germany’s Laura Ludwig spikes on the way to a pool victory with Sara Goller
against the Dutch pair of Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel
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