Salgado/Schmidt claim men’s gold at FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam
São Paulo, Brazil, October 13, 2013 – It took three sets like it did earlier in the week in pool play, but once again Brazil’s second-seeded Pedro Salgado/Bruno Schmidt outlasted USA’s 18th-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Casey Jennings Sunday to capture the gold medal during the final day of the $440,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam double-gender tournament as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returned to Brazil for the 27th consecutive year.
With the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resuming in South America after a six-week hiatus, the gold medal matches in each gender of the ninth 2013 FIVB Grand Slam event were played Sunday morning. The event was held for the first time in São Paulo in the purpose-built site that is located on the expansive grounds of Parque Villa Lobos on the west side of the massive city.
GOLD MEDAL REVIEW
Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt were stretched to three sets on Thursday as well to defeat USA’s Dalhausser/Jennings during pool play, 21-12, 19-21, 15-12 in 58 minutes.
For winning the gold medal Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt will also receive the first place purse of $33,000 while USA’s Dalhausser/Jennings earned $22,000 for the silver.
Sunday’s gold medal match between the Brazilians and the Americans was closer than their first encounter. The first set was tied point for point 16 times including the first 11 points and the lead changed hands four times. The second set was even closer with 17 ties and eight lead changes before it was decided. In the deciding third set, Brazil pounded away to build up an 8-4 lead and while never taking the lead, USA did came back from an 8-4 deficit to tie the match at 11-11.
Salgado enthusiastically said following the grueling match, “I am so excited. It was a special Sunday for me. Playing against Casey in the final was a dream for me. He is one of my best friends, part of my family. He and Phil make a very competitive team. I am so happy to win this title at home.”
When Dalhausser’s regular teammate this year - Sean Rosenthal - withdrew from the tournament last Saturday with an injury, journeyman Jennings gladly accepted the opportunity to not only play but to watch in person his wife Kerri Walsh Jennings win the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam women’s gold medal on Sunday by defeating Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst in three sets. Casey and Kerri were the first-ever couple in the 27-year history of the FIVB World Tour to both play in their respective gold medal matches in the same event.
Both FIVB veterans, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt were playing in their 11th FIVB World Tour event together and playing consistently to lead the FIVB season rankings, this was their sixth FIVB final four appearance as a team and they now have two gold medals, two silvers, one bronze and one fourth place finish. Individually, this was the 108th career FIVB World Tour event for Salgado, his 36th FIVB final four with 13 gold medals and seven silvers. Schmidt was playing in his 74th FIVB career event, his 12th FIVB final four and now has two golds and four silver medals. Earlier in their careers, Salgado/Schmidt teamed up to win the gold medal at the 2006 FIVB U21 World Championships in Myslowice, Poland.
Both FIVB veterans, USA’s Dalhausser/Jennings were playing in just their first FIVB World Tour event. Individually, this was Dalhausser’s 70th career FIVB World Tour event, his 48th FIVB final four and he now has 26 gold and eight silver medals. For Jennings, this was his 62nd career FIVB World Tour event, his fifth FIVB final four and he now has one gold and two silver medals.
BRONZE MEDAL FOR LATVIA
After their bronze medal victory, Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins left São Paulo with a 6-1 record in the tournament, a third place finish and $16,500 in prize money. After their loss in the bronze medal match, Spain’s Herrerra/Gavira will leave São Paulo with a 4-4 record in the tournament, an official fourth-place finish and $12,900 in prize money.
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