Double Brazilian joy rounds off Berlin smart Grand Slam
Their victory over Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler in the German capital meant the South Americans finished with gold in both genders after Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves won the men’s competition on Saturday for their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medal.
Talita and Lima’s win also slightly extends their lead at the top of the World Tour, ahead of Holtwick and Semmler, who lead the chasing pack.
The World Tour resumes after a week’s break for the Moscow Grand Slam, which runs from August 21-25 and the men’s silver medallists are likely to have their sights set on winning domestic gold.
Like Vitor Felipe and Evandro, Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov played in their first World Tour final and with Berlin their first tournament as a team, they are likely to be confident of delighting their home fans.
Talita and Lima break German hearts with Berlin gold
Talita and Lima broke German hearts when they fought back from four match points down to beat Holtwick and Semmler and win the Berlin smart Grand Slam gold medals.
The Brazilians blocked out the Berlin centre court crowd to beat the number one German team 2-1 (16-21, 23-21, 15-12) in the gold medal match.
“This was a tough match,” Talita said. “They were playing at home, they were playing well, but at 20-17, we never gave up and kept trying and trying.” MORE
Fopma and Sweat enjoy taste of bronze
USA’s Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat won their first ever World Tour medals when they beat Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 15-12) in the bronze medal match.
Both teams were going for their first ever World Tour podium place and the Americans started stronger. While they maintained their momentum at the start of the second set a well-placed time-out gave the Czechs the chance to regroup and draw level.
“We just had to keep battling,” Sweat said. “We got down a few times, but we knew if we stayed calm, controlled our side we could battle back and that’s how we did it.” MORE
Dream final set up after both semifinals go the distance
Germany’s leading duo Holtwick and Semmler remain on course for their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam gold medal after reaching the Berlin smart Grand Slam final.
They will need to be at their very best to overcome gold-medal match opponents and World Tour leaders Antunes and Lima of Brazil, a team that have their eyes firmly fixed on a fifth Grand Slam gold medal of the year.
Both semifinals went to tie-breaks; Holtwick and Semmler beat Fopma and Sweat 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-10), while Talita and Lima beat the Czech Republic’s first time semifinalists Slukova and Kolocova 2-1 (20-22, 21-15, 15-8). MORE
The Berlin smart Grand Slam is the seventh Grand Slam on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, which is comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. There are also eight Open events and while they are not part of the World Tour, they still count towards the FIVB World Rankings and help open the door for development of the sport.
The tournament concluded with the women’s gold and bronze medal matches on Sunday August 11, while the men’s medal matches took place on Saturday August 10.
FIVB Beach Volleyball homepage
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour homepage
Berlin smart Grand Slam homepage