2019-05-06 09:59:00 CEST
Brazilians and Czechs, that’s who…
Some familiar Beach Volleyball Major Series favorites took home medals in the three-star event in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend as the race towards the World Championships continues.
Having lost in the final of the four-star tournament in Xiamen, Czech stars Marketa Sluková and Barbora Hermannová went one better by scooping gold in Malaysia – their first victory since taking the Vienna Major last August.
The duo were pushed all the way in a pulsating 56 minutes by Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat, fighting back from losing the first set to win 24-26, 22-20, 15-12. For three-time Olympic and World champ Kerri and teammate Brooke, it was their third podium finish in their last five FIVB World Tour events.
The final place on the podium went to new German constellation Julia Sude and Karla Borger, who beat Spain’s Paula Soria and Maria Carro in straight sets. The Germans are quietly improving – this was just their third tournament together since joining forces.
Alison back on top
For the 24th time in his career, reigning Olympic champion Alison Cerutti stood on the very top of the podium after he and new teammate Alvaro Filho won the men’s event.
It was a double cause for celebration for the Brazilians as the victory lifted them into the top-23 of the World Rankings which secured the pair an automatic place at the World Championships in Hamburg.
Alison and Alvaro dropped just once set during the tournament, securing the gold medal with a 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) win over Americans Theo Brunner and indoor legend-turned beach pro Reid Priddy in the final. The silver is Priddy’s first international medal and Brunner’s third, and the pair were not the only Americans on the podium, as veteran John Hyden and Ryan Doherty took bronze, beating Germany’s Alexander Walkenhorst and Sven Winter.
Meanwhile in America…
The first AVP stop of the 2019 season saw a number of the US’ top names compete in Huntington Beach.
Alix Klineman and April Ross took the honors in the women’s event, beating Canadian entrants Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan in an epic final. Melissa and Sarah took the first set 21-18 but backed by a passionate home crowd, Alix and April stormed back to win the second 21-12 and then a nailbiting decider 17-15 in one hour and 14 minutes.
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2,492 Likes, 83 Comments - Jacob Gibb (@jakesgibb) on Instagram: "This is maybe my favorite video ever. Thx @katajurevich for the vid. We all have a lot that we..."
On the men’s side, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb secured gold, beating Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson. Taylor and Jake edged a tight first set 27-25 before taking the title with a 21-14 in the second set.
This week we’ll have news of which teams have confirmed their spots at the World Championships, while on the sand, the FIVB World Tour heads to Vietnam for a one-star, women-only event at Tuan Chau Island.
The world’s top 20 players are next engaged at the four-star event in Itapema, Brazil, which begins on May 15.