USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal golden in Gstaad
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 8, 2012—With the sun intermittently breaking through until it shone brightly upon the sold-out Gstaad stadium center court, USA’s Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal survived a classic rematch from the last tour stop to capture their fourth gold medal on the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour Sunday, concluding the week-long $600,000 1to1 energy Grand Slam in Gstaad, Switzerland.
The world’s top beach volleyball tandems were Switzerland as the extremely popular double-gender event marked the 13th consecutive visit by the world tour with Gstaad hosting 11 men’s and 12 previous women’s events. Village Gstaad is nestled in a magnificent valley in Southwestern Switzerland at 3,440 feet (1,050 meters) above sea-level, the highest altitude a FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour stop is held annually.
USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal have now played 59 FIVB SWATCH World Tour events together and this was their 12th final four appearance and fourth gold medal and 10th total medal.
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel, who competed in their 30th FIVB SWATCH World Tour event together in Gstaad where they were the defending champions, now 21 final four appearances and together have now won seven silver medals and 20 medals total.
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel still hold a 6-2 edge in the series between the two teams. Including meeting in the last five consecutive tworld tour events as both teams have qualified for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic games where they will be one of two teams representing each of their respective countries. In Gstaad, USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal finished with a perfect 6-1 record with five wins coming in two sets while Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel finished 6-1 with all their wins in two-sets
In the battle for men’s gold between two of the most powerful countries in all of beach volleyball, Brazil and the United States are tied at 27-27 in their long history on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
BIG PURSE IN GSTAAD
INSIDE THE GOLD
The second set started out much closer and was tied at each point up to 5-5 when the Americans scored four straight points to move ahead 10-6. USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal keep around a two to four-point margin for several serves to gaining a 17-14 point lead. Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel closed to 15-17 and then 16-17 before USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal scored five of the last six points to secure the set, match and gold medal victory.
In closing out the match, Gibb scored the final four points of the match for USA as he placed a deep corner shot, blocked Alison, blocked Emanuel and ended it with a precision kill down the middle between Alison and Emanuel.
FIGHT FOR THE BRONZE
Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai who have played 14 world tour events together and this was their third final four appearance and their first bronze medal to give them two medals in their short partnership.
USA’s two-time Gstaad champions Dalhausser/Rogers were playing in their 54th FIVB SWATCH World Tour event together and earned their 42nd final four appearance. This was only their third fourth-place finish.
With both teams having qualifying for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics, the world tour series between the two teams now has Italy leading 2-1, USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers won the first meeting in Shanghai, China this year and Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai won the second in Beijing in mid-May prior to Sunday’s match.
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel extended their series record against Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai to 6-1 with their victory. In the all-American semifinal match, USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal improved their all-time FIVB SWATCH World Tour record against compatriots Dalhausser/Rogers to 6-14. Prior to Sunday’s semifinal match, two of the last three times the two teams have met were in gold medal matches, where both were won by Dalhausser/Rogers and both lasted over an hour and went three sets before a winner was decided. Those two previous meetings were last year in Quebec City, Canada and this year in Shanghai, China.
TO QUOTE OR NOT TO QUOTE
USA’s Rosenthal commented on the battle they have waged for almost two years for the final team USA Olympic berth with Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena, saying, “We have really been fighting it out with Matt and Nick for that Olympic spot and after all those months it came down to the last tournament and nearly the last match before it was finally decided. I think this intense secondary battle with our fellow Americans have helped us raise our game to the level it is now and we hope it carries forward to London.”
The legendary Emanuel was disappointed as well but complimentary after the gold medal match, stating, “We didn’t play very well and it showed in the final result. We congratulate the American team and they honestly didn’t give us any chances in the gold medal match. They have beaten us in two straight gold medal matches but we know what we need to work on and I know we will be ready to play better in London.”
FIVB SWATCH WORLD TOUR CALENDAR
NEXT STOPS: BERLIN, KLAGENFURT…LONDON
From there, 24 qualified teams in each gender will be in London for the XXX Olympiad and fifth one with beach volleyball included as a medal sport. The competition will be held July 28 through August 9 in a purpose-built 15,000 sold-out stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade in the heart of central London. The drawing of lots for pool assignments will be held on July 19 in Klagenfurt.