Tue, Jul 31, 2007 - Page 19 News List

US sweep beach volleyball gold medals

AP , GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND

Phil Dalhauser, left, of the the US prepares to spike against Russia's Igor Kolodinsky during the men's final of the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Gstaad, Switzerland, on Sunday. Dalhausser and partner Todd Rogers won the match.

PHOTO: AFP

Fourth-seeded Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser defeated Russians Dmitri Barsuk and Igor Kolodinski 21-16, 21-14 on Sunday to give the US a gold medal sweep at the beach volleyball world championships.

Australia's 16th-seeded Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack upset Olympic champions and top-ranked Brazilians Emanuel and Ricardo 21-17, 21-19 in just 42 minutes to take the bronze.

It marked the first major win of the season for Dalhausser and Rogers, who pocketed 60,000 euros (US$81,906) with the title.

"It's a tremendous feeling to win this title in front of my parents and relatives," said the 27-year old Dalhausser, who has a Swiss mother and German father.

Dalhausser and Rogers also collected 1,000 points toward qualifying for next year's Beijing Olympics. A duo's best eight finishes on the World Tour by July 20 next year will count towards qualifying for the 24-team Olympic field.

The US also won the women's gold on Saturday, when Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh beat China's Tian Jia and Wang Jie 21-16, 21-10 to win an unprecedented third consecutive world title.

Brazil captured both the men's and women's titles at the 1997 and 1999 worlds in Los Angeles and Marseille, France.

Schacht and Slack became the first Australian men to medal at the world championships.

"It's a great day especially after we played so poorly in the morning semi-finals against the Russians," said Slack, whose duo lost 21-13, 21-19 to Barsuk and Kolodinski earlier on Sunday.

Emanuel and Ricardo had been looking to maintain Brazil's streak of medaling in each of the six world championships. The duo, which won the 2003 title in Rio de Janeiro, lost to Dalhausser and Rogers 21-16, 13-21, 19-17 in the semis.

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