2016-07-07 17:54:00 CEST

Age difference makes no difference

Finnish girls far from finished here in Gstaad

The Fins say this is only the beginning! Photocredit: Melanie Duchene.The Fins say this is only the beginning! Photocredit: Melanie Duchene.

The women’s Pool Play is now over and the biggest smiles of the day belonged to Finnish stars Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti!

They survived three match points in the second set and trailed for much of the third set but battled valiantly back to victory against Canadians Julie Gordon and Brandie Wilkerson.

It was their third straight win at the Gstaad Major and booked them an automatic place in the second knockout round.

There might be an age difference of 13 years between the two players but that doesn’t bother these two excitable Northern Lights, who have lit up the tournament so far.

“When we started playing together I loved her willingness to win,” said Riikka, the older of the partnership. “It was great motivation for me to see her enthusiasm and energy. She wants to be at the top and that’s something we both strive for.”

“She has so much experience,” said Taru on her teammate. “She knows so much and has taught me so much – eating the right things and the mental aspect of the game. She sets a good example for me.

“But the fact is we just want to win all the time.”

Going into their game today with two wins from two, we thought we had jinxed them when we went to watch them on Court 3 and witnessed them fall behind in the match.

But they pulled a result out of the hat against the Canadians, much to their obvious delight.

“There are good days and bad days in beach volleyball,” explained Riikka. “Today was a little bit different but teamwork got us through it. We made mistakes but still believed, we still believed we’d find our rhythm and we did.”

On a stunning summer’s day in the mountains, the Finnish weren’t the only team celebrating a place in the last 16.

Larrisa/Talita, Walsh Jennings/Ross, Ludwig/Walkenhorst, Liliana/Elsa, Menegatti/Orsi Toth, Meppelink/Van Iersel and Borger/Büthe all avoided a first elimination match.

The draw for the knockout rounds has taken place already and you can see the women’s draw right here!

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