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Chen Xue and Zhang Xi complete fight back to win world title

 
Chen Xue (left) and Zhang Xi topped the World Championships podium
 
Stare Jablonki, Poland, July 6, 2013 – Chen Xue and Zhang Xi needed six match points, but lived up to their status as first seeds by lifting their first major title when they beat Britta Buthe and Karla Borger in the women’s gold medal match at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013.

The Chinese pair beat the German duo 18-21, 21-17, 21-19 to add the gold medals to the bronzes they won at Rome 2011 and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and become the first Asian side to be crowned world champions.

It was the Germans who started the stronger. They didn’t let the Chinese settle and the forced them into a number of mistake. Xue and Zhang Xi fought back in the second and after Xue brought up set point with a block, the Germans saved one, but couldn’t stop them capitalising on the second. 

The lead swung back and forth throughout the first set and it was the Germans who had the first match point. The Chinese saved it, but then wasted five of their own before they won.

“We played our won game,” Xue said. “We always knew we had the power. It was a very good match and we didn’t play very well, so we had to take it step by step. We missed some points in the first set, so we had to focus even more. 

“This is our first world title, so it is very important to us. We enjoyed ourselves very much at the tournament. We didn’t know a lot about this team and I think they have grown a lot.”

“It is my dream,” Zhang Xi added. “I’m dreaming. I’m so excited.”

Even though they were seeded number one and won their opening fixture, Xue and Zhang Xi then slumped to a loss in their second game and showed signs of rustiness in the third after they had missed the three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slams before the start of the tournament.

However, they started to hit form in their first elimination round match against Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Agatha Bednarczuk and didn’t look back for the rest of the tournament.

For Borger and Buthe the silver medal is their first medal at a senior FIVB level. They signalled their potential at the Rome Grand Slam, the final tournament before the World Championships, by finishing fourth. 

“Of course we are a little sad that we lost the final, but we can take positives from the final,” Buthe said. “We just lost to the best team in the world and hopefully we will improve and next time do better. But we shouldn’t regret what we did.”

Lili and Seixas deny USA pair

Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas won their second set of bronze medals in two tournaments when they beat 2009 world champion April Ross and Whitney Pavlik. 

The Brazilians finished third at the Rome Grand Slam and repeated the result when they beat the Americans 2-0 (21-18, 21-15). 

“It was a very good match,” Lili said. “The US were tough, but we played really well. We didn’t play our best, but we stuck together. 

“We are exhausted after six days here. We are a new team and have played just six tournaments, so we are really happy to finish in third place.”

The ninth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships began on July 1 with the opening round of women’s pool play matches. The tournament concludes on Sunday with the men’s semifinals and medal matches.   

The ninth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships began on July 1 with the opening round of women’s pool play matches. The tournament concludes on Sunday with the men’s semifinals and medal matches.   

FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Tournament Page
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Women's Schedule
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Men's Schedule
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Women's Entry List
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Men's Entry List 




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