Olympic beach volleyball: Germany beats Brazil for its maiden gold

August 10th, 2012 - 5:29 am ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Jonas Reckermann and Julius Brink gave Germany its first Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball Thursday, beating the World No. 1 pair of Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in the final.

Reckermann and Brink took the fight to reigning world champions Cerutti and Rego in the first set, scraping a 23-21 win, before the Brazilians bit back, winning the second 21-16.

The decider went down to the wire, tied at 14-14 before the Germans picked up the two points they needed for a 16-14 win after two mistakes from Rego, a gold medalist with Ricardo Santos in 2004.

Germany’s best previous result in men’s or women’s beach volleyball was bronze for Axel Hager and Joerg Ahmann in Sydney in 2000.

Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins won bronze, overpowering Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil of the Netherlands in a close-fought three-set match.

The Dutch players battled dogged resistance from the Latvians to win the first set 21-19, only for Plavins and Smedins to fight back in the second to win by the same score.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Plavins.

“This year we hadn’t finished higher than ninth, so even to reach the semifinal was huge. Now we have won the bronze and we can’t wait to experience the medal ceremony.”

The Latvian duo then closed out the match 15-11 in the decider for their country’s first medal in beach volleyball.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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