Brazilian couple Juliana&Larissa won the gold medal at FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Championships in Rome, beating Olympic Champions Walsh&May-Treanor in thrilling tie-break.
Juliana and Larissa went out on the sand as a favorites but there was no doubt that Olympic Champions Walsh and May-Treanor wanted to add another gold to their collection, and therefore they came into the play very determined.
The teams started the set with a tight exchange, however, May-Treanor had some troubles dealing with their opponent’s service. Brazilians took advantage of USA’s hesitation and gained 5 points lead at the first technical timeout (13:8). The gap was remaining the same until American couple displayed great skills in block and reduced their loss to only 1 point (16:15), causing Larissa and Juliana to take a timeout. The break turned out to be very helpful as Brazilians came back with a convincing attack and eventually took the set 21: 17.
The second set was a mirror reflection of the previous one and wasn’t very emotional. Brazilian couple struggled with inaccurate passing on its side caused by amazing services of Walsh. As the Americans gained momentum, more and more errors appeared on Brazilian side. Olympic Champions took and maintained control till the last ball to win the set 13:21 and equalize a total result.
None of supporters gathered in Forto Italico could complain about lack of emotions while the decisive set being played. American pair took 4 points advantage at the beginning (4:8), however, Brazilians forced themselves and scored some points on efficient counterattacks preceded by amazing defenses. It was a display of power of both teams with many spectacular attacks and digs. Walsh an her teammate May-Treanor still kept a little led but already had Brazilian breathing down their neck (12:13). Larissa’s attack brought the score level and then Juliana added an efficient block, reaching a match point. Americans called a timeout but nothing could stop enthusiastic Brazilians who closed the game with an impressive block (16:14), shattering their opposites’ dreams for a gold medal.
In the bronze medal match Chinese pair Chen Xue and Xi Zhang beat Lenka Hajeckova and Hana Klapalova from Czech Republic in two straight sets (21:14, 21:12).
Brazil celebrates double success at this year’s World Championships, winning the first prizes in both gentles.