The German women’s beach volleyball team beat Brazilians and advanced to finals on Tuesday. Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst won the Brazilian top-seeded Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca in the semi-finals at the Rio Olympics.

The German performance during women’s beach volleyball semifinals changed the mood of the crowd that was mainly cheering up the Brazil’s favorites. The fourth-seeded German competitors won the first match of the day at the Copacabana stadium with a score of 21-18 21-12. The Germans dominated the 38-minute match over the unbeaten Brazilians. In the first set, the score was incredibly tight with 21-18 for Germany.

Rio Beach Volleyball
Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst celebrate after beating the Brazilian team. Image credit: EFE/ Orlando Barria.

The Brazilians’ biggest peak during the set was of 14-11, but Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst tied it quickly at 14-14 and then went ahead with 17-16. There were 11 ties during the entire set and two lead changes that ended up with a victory for Germany.

During the second set, however, the story was completely different. Ludwig and Walkenhorst scored first with five points gained when serving. In an attempt to close the gap, Antunes and Franca got closer to the score when the score was 9-6. Their struggle extended up to the end. After that moment, the Germans triumphed during the rest of the set.

When the score was 20-11, it was Walkenhorst’s powerful attack what conferred Germany its 21-12 victory. The Germans organized a misbalance strategy to counteract the pressure they had over the shoulders.

The fact of meeting the top-seeded Brazilians on their own ground during semifinals was too much to digest. Besides playing in front of a crowd that was mostly expressing support to the Brazilians, it was a quarters finals game, which gives the possibility of advancing to finals.

“It was really important winning the first set and we knew we had to have patience. I think I was the most nervous for this match because we were in the semi and in front of this crowd,” expressed Ludwig.

Germany secures its first Olympic medal in women’s beach volleyball

On Tuesday’s semifinals, the German women did not only triumph over a difficult rival, they also guaranteed the first spot for Germany in women’s beach volleyball at the Olympic podium. If emerging as winners, Ludwig and Walkenhorst will give their nation the first Olympic gold medal in women’s beach volleyball.

In London 2012, the German duo Jonas Reckermann and Julius Brink won the first gold for Germany in men’s beach volleyball. Ludwig and Walkenhorst will play along the resulting winner from midnight’s competition.

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Image credit: EFE/ Mario Ruiz.

April Ross and the three-time Olympic gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings from the United States and the second-seeded Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas, will confront at the semifinal. The women’s beach volleyball final match will be held on late Wednesday.

Source: FIV