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Beach Volleyball, Women

Date6 – 17 August 2016
StatusOlympic
LocationArena Copacabana, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
Participants48 from 17 countries
FormatTop 16 teams from round-robin pools advanced to the single-elimination tournament.

Despite being number three in the FIVB World Tour Rankings, the American pair of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross were favourites for gold in Rio, largely due to Walsh Jennings’s record of never having lost a match at the Olympics. She had won 21 straight games and dropped just one set in three Olympics that saw her as champion (with Misty May) in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Her new partner, Ross, was a silver medalist in London four years earlier. Strangely, the new pairing reached only the last 16 at the 2015 World Championship, losing to the Chinese pair of Wang Fan and Yue Yuan, in a tournament that saw the Brazilian women dominate all three medal places with Bárbara Seixas and Ágatha Bednarczuk taking gold. They were considered serious contenders for the gold medal on home sand in Rio, as were the other local favourites Larissa França and Talita Antunes. The two Brazilian teams were seeded one and two in Rio, with Walsh Jennings and Ross number three, and with the German world number ones Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst ranked four.

As expected, Walsh Jennings and Ross qualified for the final 16 but not until a tense final match against the Swiss girls Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré. The Americans won 21-13, 22-24, 15-12 and it was the first set they had dropped in the 2016 competition and only the second that Walsh Jennings had dropped in her Olympic career. Larissa and Talita qualified without dropping a set as did Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernández of Spain. A vastly experienced duo, the Spaniards were one of six teams (men and women) to have competed at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, but they had the distinction of being the partnership who had played together the most and their opening game in Rio was their 420th match together. Perhaps the biggest names to fail to make it through the qualifying matches were those of the Americans Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat who finished bottom of their group.

The clash of the last 16 was between Larissa and Talita and the German seventh seeds, Karla Borger and Britta Büthe and it was the home favourites who came through 21-17, 21-19. The Spaniards Elsa and Liliana put up a great fight in losing to the FIVB 23rd ranked pair Yekaterina Birlova and Yevgeniya Ukolova of Russia, 21-23, 22-24, while the reigning world champions Bárbara and Ágatha won 21-12, 21-16 against the Chinese pair Wang and Yue. Kerry Walsh Jennings remained on course for her fourth consecutive gold medal with a straight sets win over the Italians Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini, who came into the Italian team just three days before it started, after Viktoria Orsi Toth was banned after testing positive for a banned substance.

The Brazilian duos of Larissa and Talita and Bárbara and Ágatha reached the semi-finals, but Larissa and and Talita only did so after winning the match of the tournament against the Swiss pair Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr 21-23, 27-25, 15-13. The four Brazilians were joined in the semis by Ludwig and Walkenhorst of Germany and Ross and Walsh Jennings, who celebrated her quarter-final victory on her 38th birthday.

The semi-finalists were made up of the top four seeds and it was a mixed day for the partisan Brazilian crowd. Firstly they had to witness top seeds Larissa and Talita lose in straight sets to the Germans 21-18, 21-12, but then they witnessed a piece of Olympic beach volleyball history as American Kerri Walsh Jennings lost her first ever match at the Olympics as second seeds Bárbara and Ágatha won 22-20, 21-18 against Walsh Jennings and April Ross. Prior to this match Walsh Jennings had only lost two sets in her 26-match Olympic career, now that figure had doubled.

In the bronze medal match, which many expected to be the gold medal match before the start of the tournament, Walsh Jennings and Ross looked down and out midway through the second set against Larissa and Talita after losing the first 21-17 and were trailing by three points in the second, but the American girls picked themselves up and set up a deciding set with a 21-17 win. Walsh Jennings made some crucial blocks in the third as the Americans ran out 15-9 winners,

In the final, Bárbara and Ágatha were the first Brazilian pair to appear in a women’s final since 2004 and were hoping to become only the second Brazilian winners of the gold medal after Sandra Pires and Jackie Silva in 1976. For Germany it was their first appearance in the final and they were guaranteed their first ever women’s medal. Whilst the Brazilians had the fervent support of the packed Copacabana Beach Arena behind them, they were no match for the German’s Ludwig and Walkenhorst. A neck-and-neck first set played in a strong wind, saw the lead change hands five times and was eventually won by the Germans 21-18, but in the second set the European girls led from the start and ran out comfortable 21-14 winners to capture their first ever medal, and the first ever women’s beach volleyball medal by a European country as they emulated their male counterparts Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann who won gold in 2012.

PosTeamNOCGPWLPtsSetsPoints
1Germany 1GER7701414 - 1306 - 222Gold
Laura Ludwig
Kira Walkenhorst
2Brazil 1BRA7521010 - 5295 - 265Silver
Ágatha
Bárbara
3United States 1USA6511010 - 4275 - 220Bronze
Kerri Walsh Jennings
April Ross
4Brazil 2BRA7521012 - 5310 - 274
Larissa
Talita
=5Switzerland 1SUI53289 - 7245 - 219
Joana Heidrich
Nadine Zumkehr
=5Canada 1CAN54188 - 2196 - 171
Sarah Pavan
Heather Bansley
=5Australia 1AUS54188 - 4226 - 202
Louise Bawden
Taliqua Clancy
=5Russian FederationRUS63366 - 8259 - 278
Yevgeniya Ukolova
Yekaterina Birlova
=9Germany 2GER52344 - 6182 - 180
Karla Borger
Britta Büthe
=9Netherlands 1NED42246 - 4188 - 176
Madelein Meppelink
Marleen van Iersel
=9Canada 2CAN42244 - 5148 - 160
Jamie Broder
Kristina Valjas
=9Switzerland 2SUI41324 - 7194 - 213
Isabelle Forrer
Anouk Vergé-Dépré
=9ItalyITA41324 - 6164 - 170
Marta Menegatti
Laura Giombini
=9PolandPOL42245 - 5165 - 171
Kinga Kołosińska
Monika Brzostek
=9People's Republic of ChinaCHN42244 - 5152 - 166
Wang Fan
Yue Yuan
=9SpainESP43166 - 2170 - 148
Elsa Baquerizo
Liliana Fernández
=17Czech RepublicCZE41324 - 7182 - 193
Barbora Hermannová
Markéta Sluková
=17VenezuelaVEN41322 - 6114 - 161
Olaya Pérez
Norisbeth Agudo
=19United States 2USA30302 - 6127 - 152
Lauren Fendrick
Brooke Sweat
=19ArgentinaARG30301 - 6106 - 133
Ana Gallay
Georgina Klug
=19Australia 2AUS30301 - 6110 - 145
Mariafe Artacho
Nicole Laird
=19EgyptEGY30300 - 678 - 126
Doaa El-Ghobashy
Nada Meawad
=19Netherlands 2NED30301 - 6105 - 137
Sophie van Gestel
Jantine van der Vlist
=19Costa RicaCRC30300 - 696 - 126
Karen Charles
Natalia Alfaro

Preliminary Round (6 – 11 August 2016)

Winners and runners-up in each group advanced to round one, along with the highest ranked third-placed teams.

Group A (7 – 11 August 2016)

PosPlayerNOCGPWLPtsSetsPoints
1 Larissa / TalitaBRA33066 - 0126 - 84Q
2Kinga Kołosińska / Monika BrzostekPOL32144 - 3117 - 120Q
3Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS31222 - 5127 - 141q
4Lauren Fendrick / Brooke SweatUSA00302 - 6127 - 152

Match #1 Larissa / TalitaBRA Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS 21-14, 21-16
Match #2 Kinga Kołosińska / Monika BrzostekPOL Lauren Fendrick / Brooke SweatUSA 14-21, 21-13, 15-7
Match #3 Kinga Kołosińska / Monika BrzostekPOL Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS 21-19, 21-18
Match #4 Larissa / TalitaBRA Lauren Fendrick / Brooke SweatUSA 21-16, 21-13
Match #5 Larissa / TalitaBRA Kinga Kołosińska / Monika BrzostekPOL 21-10, 21-15
Match #6 Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS Lauren Fendrick / Brooke SweatUSA 21-18, 24-26, 15-13

Group B (6 – 10 August 2016)

PosPlayerNOCGPWLPtsSetsPoints
1Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana FernándezESP33066 - 0127 - 101Q
2 Ágatha / BárbaraBRA32144 - 3134 - 120Q
3Barbora Hermannová / Markéta SlukováCZE31223 - 5132 - 145q
4Ana Gallay / Georgina KlugARG30301 - 6106 - 133

Match #1 Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana FernándezESP Ana Gallay / Georgina KlugARG 21-11, 21-19
Match #2 Ágatha / BárbaraBRA Barbora Hermannová / Markéta SlukováCZE 19-21, 21-17, 15-11
Match #3 Ágatha / BárbaraBRA Ana Gallay / Georgina KlugARG 21-11, 21-17
Match #4 Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana FernándezESP Barbora Hermannová / Markéta SlukováCZE 21-15, 21-19
Match #5 Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana FernándezESP Ágatha / BárbaraBRA 21-17, 22-20
Match #6 Barbora Hermannová / Markéta SlukováCZE Ana Gallay / Georgina KlugARG 13-21, 21-19, 15-8

Group C (6 – 10 August 2016)

PosPlayerNOCGPWLPtsSetsPoints
1Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA33066 - 1142 - 101Q
2Wang Fan / Yue YuanCHN32144 - 3124 - 124Q
3Isabelle Forrer / Anouk Vergé-DépréSUI31224 - 5165 - 171Q
4Mariafe Artacho / Nicole LairdAUS30301 - 6110 - 145

Match #1 Wang Fan / Yue YuanCHN Isabelle Forrer / Anouk Vergé-DépréSUI 24-22, 18-21, 15-12
Match #2 Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA Mariafe Artacho / Nicole LairdAUS 21-14, 21-13
Match #3 Isabelle Forrer / Anouk Vergé-DépréSUI Mariafe Artacho / Nicole LairdAUS 19-21, 21-16, 21-19
Match #4 Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA Wang Fan / Yue YuanCHN 21-16, 21-9
Match #5 Wang Fan / Yue YuanCHN Mariafe Artacho / Nicole LairdAUS 21-16, 21-11
Match #6 Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA Isabelle Forrer / Anouk Vergé-DépréSUI 21-13, 22-24, 15-12

Group D (7 – 11 August 2016)

PosPlayerNOCGPWLPtsSetsPoints
1Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER33066 - 1138 - 103Q
2Jamie Broder / Kristina ValjasCAN32144 - 3121 - 118Q
3Marta Menegatti / Laura GiombiniITA31224 - 4138 - 128Q
4Doaa El-Ghobashy / Nada MeawadEGY30300 - 678 - 126

Match #1 Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER Doaa El-Ghobashy / Nada MeawadEGY 21-12, 21-15
Match #2 Jamie Broder / Kristina ValjasCAN Marta Menegatti / Laura GiombiniITA 15-21, 21-18, 15-9
Match #3 Marta Menegatti / Laura GiombiniITA Doaa El-Ghobashy / Nada MeawadEGY 21-10, 21-13
Match #4 Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER Jamie Broder / Kristina ValjasCAN 21-17, 21-11
Match #5 Jamie Broder / Kristina ValjasCAN Doaa El-Ghobashy / Nada MeawadEGY 21-12, 21-16
Match #6 Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER Marta Menegatti / Laura GiombiniITA 21-18, 18-21, 15-9

Group E (7 – 11 August 2016)

PosPlayerNOCGPWLPtsSetsPoints
1Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN33066 - 0126 - 102Q
2Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI32144 - 3131 - 110Q
3Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER31222 - 4104 - 117q
4Sophie van Gestel / Jantine van der VlistNED30301 - 6105 - 137

Match #1 Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN Sophie van Gestel / Jantine van der VlistNED 21-15, 21-17
Match #2 Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER 21-12, 21-16
Match #3 Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER Sophie van Gestel / Jantine van der VlistNED 21-19, 21-14
Match #4 Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI 21-18, 21-18
Match #5 Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI Sophie van Gestel / Jantine van der VlistNED 17-21, 21-11, 15-8
Match #6 Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER 21-19, 21-15

Group F (6 – 10 August 2016)

PosPlayerNOCGPWLPtsSetsPoints
1Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS33066 - 1145 - 112Q
2Madelein Meppelink / Marleen van IerselNED32145 - 2144 - 121Q
3Olaya Pérez / Norisbeth AgudoVEN31222 - 493 - 119q
4Karen Charles / Natalia AlfaroCRC30300 - 696 - 126

Match #1 Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS Karen Charles / Natalia AlfaroCRC 21-15, 21-14
Match #2 Madelein Meppelink / Marleen van IerselNED Olaya Pérez / Norisbeth AgudoVEN 21-17, 21-11
Match #3 Madelein Meppelink / Marleen van IerselNED Karen Charles / Natalia AlfaroCRC 21-16, 21-16
Match #4 Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS Olaya Pérez / Norisbeth AgudoVEN 21-9, 21-14
Match #5 Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS Madelein Meppelink / Marleen van IerselNED 27-25, 18-21, 16-14
Match #6 Olaya Pérez / Norisbeth AgudoVEN Karen Charles / Natalia AlfaroCRC 21-16, 21-19

Lucky Loser Round (12 August 2016 — 00:04)

Contested by third-place finishers in groups who did not advance automatically Winners of each match advanced to round one.

Match #1 Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS Barbora Hermannová / Markéta SlukováCZE 21-19, 12-21, 15-10
Match #2 Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER Olaya Pérez / Norisbeth AgudoVEN 21-13, 21-8

Round One (12 – 13 August 2016)

Winners of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Larissa / TalitaBRA Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER 21-17, 21-19
Match #2 Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI Madelein Meppelink / Marleen van IerselNED 19-21, 21-13, 15-10
Match #3 Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN Jamie Broder / Kristina ValjasCAN 21-16, 21-11
Match #4 Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER Isabelle Forrer / Anouk Vergé-DépréSUI 21-19, 21-10
Match #5 Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA Marta Menegatti / Laura GiombiniITA 21-10, 21-16
Match #6 Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS Kinga Kołosińska / Monika BrzostekPOL 15-21, 21-16, 15-11
Match #7 Ágatha / BárbaraBRA Wang Fan / Yue YuanCHN 21-12, 21-16
Match #8 Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana FernándezESP 23-21, 24-22

Quarter-Finals (14 – 15 August 2016 — 16:00)

Winners of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Larissa / TalitaBRA Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI 21-23, 27-25, 15-13
Match #2 Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN 21-14, 21-14
Match #3 Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS 21-14, 21-16
Match #4 Ágatha / BárbaraBRA Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS 23-21, 21-16

Semi-Finals (16 – 17 August 2016 — 16:00)

Winners of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER Larissa / TalitaBRA 21-18, 21-12
Match #2 Ágatha / BárbaraBRA Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA 22-20, 21-18

Final Round (17 August 2016 — 22:00)

Match 3/4 Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA Larissa / TalitaBRA 17-21, 21-17, 15-9
Match 1/2 Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER Ágatha / BárbaraBRA 21-18, 21-14