Emanuel and Alison beat Gibb and Rosenthal to win gold in Berlin
Gibb and Rosenthal were victorious against Emanuel and Alison in the two most recent FIVB SWATCH World Tour event finals, in Rome and Gstaad. This time though the Brazilian pair started strongly and while the Americans leveled the match with the second set, Emanuel and Alison kept Gibb and Rosenthal at arm’s length to win 21-17, 15-21, 15-11.
“The way we started the match, we were very focused,” Emanuel said. “We knew from the other two finals that they are a great team and they are enjoying a good period of form. They are playing very good and are very consistent and Alison and I tried to break this concentration.
“We did that in the first set and in the second set they came back and they showed how good they are at that point.”
Emanuel and Alison will now miss the next World Tour in Klagenfurt to return home to Brazil to begin their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition. The pair will aim to add the Olympic gold to the FIVB SWATCH World Championship that they won in 2011 in Rome.
As a former Olympic champion who won gold at Athens 2004, Emanuel realises that winning gold in London will be an entirely new challenge to the World Tour.
“London will be a totally different atmosphere,” Emanuel said. “There you play every other day so you need more concentration. It will be tough, but we will go to London very confident in our team.”
Gibb and Rosenthal will now travel to Klagenfurt for the A1 Grand Slam presented by ERGO before continuing on to London. Even though they missed out on a third consecutive gold, they travel to the British capital in high spirits having won two gold and two silvers on the 2012 World Tour so far.
“We’ve had a good tournament,” Gibb said. “They played better than us, so good for them. We now have one more, big tournament next week in Klagenfurt so hopefully we will do well then.”
Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek won bronze, their first medal of the 2012 season, when they defeated Dutch veterans Reiner Nummerdor and Richard Schuil.
The Polish pair beat Nummerdor and Schuil in straight sets 21-18, 21-19 to record their best result since they won silver at the 2011 Stare Jablonki Grand Slam and put a year interrupted by injury behind them.
“My partner had an injury, so Myslowice was my first tournament and I played with someone else and then in Moscow we returned to playing on the World Tour together,” Prudel said. “It is a very good result for us here and we are really happy with what we did.
“This morning against Gibb and Rosenthal we didn’t play very well and made too many mistakes, but here we played well.”
The smart Grand Slam Berlin is the seventh of nine mixed gender tournaments on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour and the ninth men’s tournament of the year. The winning side left with the largest share from a pot of $300,000 per gender.
The Berlin tournament is the penultimate before the London 2012 Olympic Games in which 24 men’s and women’s teams will play for gold at London’s Horse Guard’s Parade.
The men’s calendar is set to culminate with the Mazurly Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland from August 14-19.
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