Nadine Zumkehr and Simone Kuhn claimed their first ever FIVB SWATCH World Tour grand slam gold with a win over Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig in the final of the smart Grand Slam, Rome on Sunday.


The Swiss pair found their rhythm early on, controlled the match from start to finish and claimed the gold medal with a 21-12, 21-18 victory.

“It is unbelievable,” Zumkehr said. “It definitely wasn’t easy. In the first set we served really, really well. It may have seemed easy, but we knew that they would come out in the second set and make it very hard and tough.

It is the pairs’ first gold medal on the World Tour since 2009 Sanya Open. Since then the best they have managed is four quarterfinal places.

The Swiss pair dominated their German opponents from the start and Kuhn continued her impressive form at the net. The result ended a week in which they twice beat local favourites Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari and eliminated number one seeds Chen Xue and Zhang Xi.

Jennifer Kessy and April Ross claimed the bronze medal with a win over Italians Cicolari and Menegatti.

The USA pair won the first set, but the local favourites fought back in the second before Kessy and Ross silenced the Foro Italico crowd with a 21-17, 15-21, 15-13 victory.

Rome is the last tournament in which world ranking points count towards qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games and the winning team left with a prize of $43,000.