World champs make it two weeks of joy with gold in Gstaad
The Chinese repeated their victory over the Brazilians from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships semifinals with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) win.
“It’s not really sunk it yet,” Xue said. “We’re really happy with how we played today and the crowd really helped us.
“We really like playing here. We now have all three medals here from this tournament.”
The gold is Xue and Zhang Xi’s first on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour this year and their fourth at the Gstaad Grand Slam following a silver medal and two bronze in previous years. They won the season opening Fuzhou Open and then competed at the first Grand Slam of the year in Shanghai. They then missed the next three Grand Slams to play in the Chinese National Games, but roared back to form at the World Championships.
It was Lili and Seixas who began the first set the strongest. They reached the technical timeout with a one-point lead, but after going back onto court Xue and Zhang Xi took control of the set. In the second the Brazilians fought back, but China turned round a two-point deficit to take a five-point lead and didn’t look back.
“We know this team and we know we had to start strongly and keep working hard together,” Zhang Xi said.
Lili and Seixas were unable to complete a dream run that would have taken them from the qualification rounds to the gold medal. However, they did reach their first final and now have silver medals go alongside the bronze that they won at the World Championships and the Rome Grand Slam.
“China are always a tough team to beat, but we have to confess that we were a little bit tired from the other tournament and made some mistakes that we don’t usually make,” Seixas said.
“However, we made it to the final, which is a really good accomplishment and we can’t take that for granted. It was a great tournament for us.”
Talita and Lima return to form to claim bronze
Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima needed only two sets to beat Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst to win the bronze medal match.
The Brazilians won comfortably 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) to claim their fourth World Tour medal of the year. The result makes up for Talita and Lima’ loss to Ludwig and Walkenhorst in the World Championships.
“I think we played much better than yesterday,” Talita said. “Yesterday the Chinese were so good and we didn‘t play our best.
“It’s especially good to beat this team because we lost to them last week at the World Championships. I think today was a different match because, we just thought about doing our best and forgot about yesterday and the semifinal.”
The Gstaad Grand Slam is the fifth Grand Slam of 10 on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The tournament began with women’s qualifying on Tuesday July 9 and ended with women’s and men’s medal matches on Sunday July 14. The next Grand Slam takes place in Long Beach from July 22-27.
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