One night after Kerri Walsh Jennings suffered the first Olympic defeat of her career, she and April Ross made sure that they wouldn’t go home without medals.
Playing against Brazilians Larissa and Talita, the Americans bounced back after losing the first set to take the bronze medal match in three sets, 17-21, 21-17, 15-9. The win makes Walsh Jennings the oldest female Olympic medalist in the history of beach volleyball, giving her four Olympic medals and Ross (silver medalist in London) two.
Walsh Jennings was better with her passing Wednesday night than she was in Tuesday’s semifinal loss to Agatha and Barbara, and she also tallied six successful blocks. As for Ross, she was responsible for 15 of the team’s 19 successful digs.
As for the gold medal match, Germany’s Laura Ludwing and Kira Walkenhorst became their nation’s first female gold medalists in beach volleyball with a straight sets victory over Brazil’s Agatha and Barbara. After taking the first set 21-18 the Germans got off to a hot start in the second, scoring six of the first seven points on their way to a 21-14 victory.
Seeded fourth in the tournament, the European champions defeated the world champions to take gold, and they dropped just one set the entire tournament.
Germany has won two Olympic gold medals in beach volleyball, with Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann winning the men’s competition in London four years ago.