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Germans Capture Men’s Gold Medal Sunday at 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships

German celebration for Jonas Reckermann (left) and Julius Brink, the gold medal winners at the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger, Norway, July 5, 2009 - Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann established themselves as one of the top Beach Volleyball teams on the planet as the Germans captured the Gold Medal here Sunday by defeating tandems from Brazil and the United States at the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships presented by ConocoPhillips.

Seeded third in the 48-team event, Brink and Reckermann won eighth-straight matches the past 10 days on the dockside courts in this southwestern Norwegian port city to claim the US$60,000 first-place prize in the most prestigious Beach Volleyball event outside of the Olympic Games.

Brink and Reckermann opened play Sunday by scoring a 21-17, 16-21 and 15-10 semifinal win in 67 minutes Sunday morning over second-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States, the reigning Olympic and world champions.  The Americans were also the gold medal winners at the 2008 Norwegian Grand Slam in Stavanger.

After Dalhausser and Rogers earned their spot on Sunday’s podium with a win over a second German team in this week’s men’s “final four”, Brink and Reckermann claimed their world championship with a 21-16 and 21-19 win over top-seeded Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques of Brazil in the 50-minute gold medal match in front of a packed house of over 8,000 excited fans at the Vaagen Harbour centre court.

Sunday’s win was the second SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal this season for Brink and Reckermann, who scored their first win in four meetings this year against Alison and Harley.  The Germans had met the Brazilians in the previous three FIVB events this season where Alison and Harley posted victories over the Germans in Shanghai, Rome and Myslowice, Poland.

“We knew that we had to defeat the world’s best teams to win the gold medal this week,” said Brink, who will celebrate his 27th birthday Monday after being named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships.  “We defeated three teams with Olympic credentials to reach the finals, including two Olympic and world champions to reach the finals.  It is great to know that Germany will now be listed among the world champions on a very elite list.”

Alison and Cerutti, who split $45,000 for placing second, advanced to the gold medal match with a 21-18 and 21-11 semi-final victory in 49 minutes over sixth-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng of Germany.  The win was extended Alison and Harley’s FIVB matching winning streak to 15 as Brink and Reckermann’s victory was only the third setback for the Brazilians in 32 matches this season.

Despite the gold medal defeat Sunday, Alison and Harley continue as the top team on the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour with gold medal finishes earlier this season in China and Poland along with a second in Brazil and a third in Italy.  The Brazilians have earned $141,000 this season for five events with Brink and Reckermann on the point’s standing with $116,200 in winnings.

In the third-place match, Dalhausser and Rogers rebounded with a 21-11 and 21-16 Bronze Medal victory in 42 minutes over Klemperer and Koreng.  With their third-straight win over the Germans, including an elimination victory at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Dalhausser and Rogers split $35,000.  Klemperer and Koreng share $28,000 for fourth.

The $1-million SWATCH FIVB World Championships also featured women’s action where Americans Jen Kessy and April Ross defeated Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca 30-28 and 23-21 in 58 minutes to win the gold medal on Saturday.  The next stop for men and women is this coming week in Switzerland for the 1To1 Energy Grand Slam in Gstaad, the site of the 2007 world finals.


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