China broke through at the world beach volleyball championships as Xue Chen and Zhang Xi became the first women’s pair from a country other than Brazil or the U.S. to win gold.
Xue and Zhang, the 2008 Olympic and 2011 world bronze medalists, beat Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Buthe 18-21, 21-17, 21-19, winning on their sixth match point in the gold-medal match in Stare Jablonki, Poland, on Saturday.
“It is my dream,” Zhang said. “I’m dreaming. I’m so excited.”
Earlier Saturday, Americans April Ross and Whitney Pavlik lost the bronze-medal match to Brazilians Lili and Barbara 21-18, 21-15.
Ross and Pavlik’s loss means the U.S. will walk away from worlds with no medals for the first time since 2001. Ross now joins a new partner, three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings. They could debut at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, Calif., from July 22-28, broadcast on NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports.
The men’s semifinals and finals are Sunday, when Brazilians Ricardo and Emanuel look to defend their title. NBC will have coverage from 2-3:30 p.m. ET.
Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.
In the clip below, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.
Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.
VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics
NBC Olympics will partner with Snapchat for daily “Live Stories” and an NBC Rio Olympic Discover channel (co-produced with Buzzfeed) during the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Rio Games.
The Live Stories allows Snapchatters attending select U.S. Olympic Trials events and the Rio Games to contribute photo and video Snaps to the Snapchat-curated story.
The Live Stories will include behind-the-scenes and fan moments, and Snapchat will feature NBC’s Rio Olympic brand marks, logos and more.
The Discover channel will be live from Aug. 4 (one day before the Opening Ceremony) through Aug. 22 (one day after the Closing Ceremony).
From NBC Sports Group:
Buzzfeed will leverage NBC’s access to athletes, as well as clips and shots from inside and outside Rio Olympic venues, to bring Snapchatters a fresh, mobile-first look at the Games.
MORE: Full Olympic Trials broadcast schedule