Xiamen (China), April 17 (IANS) Fifth seeds Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland swept Austrian dark horses Barbara Hansel and Stefanie Schwaiger 2-0 in the women’s final of Xiamen Open to win their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal here Sunday afternoon.
Following a bronze medal finish last year in Xiamen, Forrer/Verge-Depre reached the top of the podium this time with the 21-17 and 21-14 victory in 31 minutes over the 29th seeded qualifiers, reports Xinhua.
“We finished third here last year and finishing even better is a wonderful feeling,” said the 34-year-old Forrer, who finally got the touch of gold in the World Tour in her 16th World Tour season, and her next dream is to play at the Rio Olympic Games in August.
“We want to go to the Olympics. Now we made good points here, step by step we are getting closer to this big door. If we go there, of course we want to play well there too.”
After outlasting Germany’s 15th seeds Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-1 (21-18, 16-21, 15-13) in Sunday morning’s semi-finals, Forrer/Vergé-Dépré showed their dominance in the final match.
Verge-Depre attributed the victory to better game rhythm. “We just had better game rhythm, they were not serving as tough as the other girls in the semi-final, so it was easier for us to keep our rhythm in the game and side out and serve much better than in the semi-final,” she said.
Hansel-Schwaiger narrowly missed the chance to become the first Austrian tandem to win a gold medal in the World Tour. But they could be satisfied after upsetting top seeds Kerri Walsh and April Ross of the United States 2-1 in the semi-finals on back of a strong serving game.
Walsh-Ross, who had captured a gold and a silver in the season-opening Rio Grand Slam and Vitoria Open in Brazil, recovered soon enough to beat Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-0 (24-22, 21-15) in the bronze medal match for their third podium finish in a row.
“This morning was really crushing, I think we got aced almost ten times, the most of them were on me, but we still could have won against them,” said Walsh. “If we focused on the fundamentals, then we should have won that match, but Austria played amazing and I’m excited that they are in the final, and I am so happy that we bounced back. We didn’t let that defeat us this morning.”
With the double-gender Xiamen Open lowering its curtain, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will continue in Fuzhou next week.