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.
Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol is the latest athlete to announce publicly thoughts about skipping the Rio Olympics due to the Zika virus.
Gasol, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, held a press conference and wrote a column in Spanish newspaper El Pais titled “Olympic dream or medical nightmare?” on Monday.
“Returning to Spain after eight months in the United States, I am struck by how few people in Europe are talking about the Zika virus and its consequences,” Gasol wrote in the column. “From my conversations with both U.S. and Spanish experts, my conclusion is that Zika is a much bigger and more serious threat than we think.”
MORE: U.S. Olympic basketball game times announced
London Olympians Nic Long and Alise Post became the first members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic BMX team by capturing bronze medals at the World Championships in Medellín, Colombia, on Sunday.
Long, eliminated in the London Olympic quarterfinals, earned his first World Championships medal.
He finished third in Medellín behind France’s Joris Daudet and the Netherlands’ Niek Kimmann, the latter just missing in a bid to become the first BMX rider to repeat as World champion since the sport was added to the Olympic program in 2008.
Post, tearfully eliminated in the London Olympic semifinals, earned her third World Championships medal.
She was second for most of the final behind eventual Colombian winner and 2012 Olympic champion Mariana Pajón and was passed by Australian Caroline Buchanan on the final straight.
The U.S. can send two women and three men to Rio in BMX.
Long and Post bring the entire list of U.S. athletes qualified to Rio to 147 members.
MORE: 100 Team USA athletes to watch on road to Rio