Paris, France, June 22, 2008 - Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers made it â€œofficialâ€ here Sunday afternoon by capturing the menâ€™s finale at the US$600,000 Henkel Grand Chelem on the Champs de Mars centre court to give the United States both SWATCH FIVB World Tour Beach Volleyball gold medals in the French capital this week.
After Dalhausser and Rogersâ€™ claimed their third international gold medal together, compatriots Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh captured the womenâ€™s title in the All-American finale with a 21-13 and 21-13 win in 36 minutes over Tyra Turner and Rachel Wacholder with Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs giving the United States a 1-2-3 sweep by capturing the bronze medal.
For the SWATCH most outstanding player awards, Rogers joined May-Treanor as the top competitors for the Henkel Grand Chelem that was held in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Sundayâ€™s winners were also part of the last American team to share an international Beach Volleyball podium as Dalhausser/Rogers and May-Treanor/Walsh captured the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships last July in Switzerland.
With a 21-15 and 21-17 win in 47 minutes over fourth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil of the Netherlands, the third-seeded Dalhausser and Rogers captured their first SWATCH FIVB World Tour this season after finishing third, third and second in their previous three international starts.
â€œI was not feeling my best today,â€ said Dalhausser, who is known as the â€œThin Beastâ€ due to his slight build (206 cm/6â€™9â€, 89 kg/196lb). â€œTodd really picked me up today and played a very good match against a very strong team. I think playing three tough matches yesterday did not help me, but we made it.â€
While not losing a set in their seven matches since Thursday at the Henkel Grand Chelem, Dalhausser and Rogers shared the $43,500 first-place prize and maintained their spot as the No. 2-ranked team on the overall qualifying list for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games behind Brazilians Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos (5,500 points to 5,140). They also increased their lead as No. 1 United States tandem.
Emanuel and Ricardo, who had won the previous two SWATCH stops with a gold medal win over Dalhausser and Rogers last Sunday in Berlin, placed ninth this week. The Brazilians won the 2007 Henkel Grand Chelem in Paris.
Dalhausser and Rogers have now won three of four meetings with Nummerdor and Schuil, who shared the $29,500 second-place prize after competing in their second SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal this season with a top of the podium placement in Croatia. The Dutch also rank among the top teams for Beijing with 4,510 points to maintain the fourth position for overall Olympic qualifying and tops in their country.
In the menâ€™s bronze medal match, seventh-seeded Harley Marques and Pedro Salgado of Brazil missed an opportunity to improve their qualifying point total of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games by dropping a 21-18, 16-21 and 15-12 decision in 75 minutes to sixth-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng of Germany. While the Klemperer, who celebrated his 28th birthday Sunday, and Koreng split $23,000 for third-place, the Brazilians split $18,400 for fourth-place.
With only two Brazilian teams allowed to compete in the menâ€™s Beach Volleyball competition at the Beijing Summer Games, Harley and Salgado trail Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes by 100 points (4,740 to 4,640) with three events remaining in Norway, Russia and France whem the end of the qualifying process July 20 in Marseille.
The third of six SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slam stops on this seasonâ€™s calendar starts Monday in Stavanger as three events remain on the qualifying schedule for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Moscow and Marseille hosts the final two events to help determine the 24-team field each for the men and women in the Beach Volleyball competition in the Chinese capital August 9-22.