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2016-05-23 11:39:00 CET

Walsh Jennings and Ross take Cincinnati gold…again!

American favorites fight back to win third gold of the season

Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross have now won three golds in their last five tournaments this year. Photo credit: Samo VidicKerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross have now won three golds in their last five tournaments this year. Photo credit: Samo Vidic

It took them over an hour – and they had to battle from one set down – but there was no stopping home favorites Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross winning gold at the Cincinnati Open on Saturday.

The top seeds, who won gold in their last tournament in Fuzhou, looked in trouble against China’s Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia after losing the first set 22-20.

But in what proved to be an epic second set, the Americans came out all guns blazing, leading 4-0 and 7-1 and 14-6 before Xue and Xia staged what seemed an unlikely recovery to pull the score back to 14-13. However, Walsh Jennings and Ross aren’t number one seeds for nothing and eventually raced back in front to level the match 21-13 in the second set.

The tiebreaker was just as dramatic. Both teams traded points as the lead swung one way and then the next. The Americans had a point for the match, which was saved by the Chinese, but that only delayed the inevitable as Walsh Jennings and Ross completed victory to triumph in overtime 18-16.

The gold, their second at the Cincinnati Open having won first place in 2014, continued Walsh Jennings and Ross’ super run of form in 2016 which has seen the Americans win three golds, one silver and one bronze in five tournaments so far this year.

Meanwhile, there was joy for Spain’s Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo as they secured bronze medal with a straight sets victory over the Netherland’s Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist. The Spaniards picked up another crucial 400 points in the race to qualify for this summer’s Olympics – the duo now sit in 12th place in the provisional rankings for Rio.

Read more here on the men’s result