By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The possibility of another gold and bronze for Brazil, this time for women’s beach volleyball faded on Wednesday night as the two Brazilian teams lost their respective matches. Frontrunners, Agatha and Barbara lost to Germany’s Ludwig and Walkenhorst and received the silver medal, while Larissa and Talita lost to the U.S.’s Walsh and Ross, who received the bronze.
“The Germans deserved it (win), they led an excellent game,” Agatha was quoted as saying to Agencia Brasil right after the game, held at the arena on Copacabana Beach. According to the players the strong winds surprised the players, and the German team was able take better advantage of the situation. “It wasn’t a determining factor, but it made it more difficult,” said Barbara. The Brazilian team, who had won favorites Walsh and Ross on Tuesday at the semi-finals, lost to Germany the two sets, 21-18 and 21-14.
The other Brazilian team of Larissa and Talita battled it out for the bronze against U.S.’s Walsh and Ross, who at the beginning of the Rio Olympics were seen as favorites for the gold. Walsh is a three-time Olympic winner, having received medals in 2004, 2008 and 2012 for beach volleyball.
The U.S. team lost the first set, 21-17, but came back and won the second set by the same spread, 21-17. During the tie-breaker the U.S. maintained control of the game from the start, closing the set at 15-9.
This is the first time in sixteen years, a Brazilian women’s beach volleyball team has stood at the podium. The last time, in 2000, the teams won the silver and the bronze.