AUSTRALIANS ARTACHO DEL SOLAR AND CLANCY PICK UP SILVER IN TOKYO 2020

AUSTRALIANS ARTACHO DEL SOLAR AND CLANCY PICK UP SILVER IN TOKYO 2020

Australia’s Mariafe Artacho Del Solar and Taliqua Clancy settled for silver in Tokyo 2020, their first Olympic medal and third overall for their country, after the Sydney 2000 gold and the Atlanta 1996 bronze of Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst.

April Ross and Alix Klineman triumphed as Tokyo 2020 Olympic champions after winning the women’s beach volleyball final at Shiokaze Park on Friday. They lost only a single set over the seven matches played along the way. This was the first Olympic gold for either player, while April also had a London 2012 silver and a Rio 2016 bronze. The overall podium count for US women is now up to four gold, a silver and two bronze medals.

The bronze went to Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich. It was Switzerland’s first and Europe’s second ever Olympic medal in women’s beach volleyball history. The Alpine nation also had a bronze medal in the Athens 2004 men’s tournament.

The first set of the gold medal match was completely one-sided. April and Alix broke away with an early 7-2 lead and never looked back. The gap went as wide as eight points at 16-8 as the Americans cruised on comfortably to close the set. The A-Team were even more emphatic at the start of the second set, running off with a 10-2 lead. Artacho Del Solar and Clancy fought their way back to narrow it down to within three at 16-13 and bring back some of the suspense, but April and Alix wouldn’t have it. They were on a mission and after a convincing 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) victory the mission was accomplished.

Latvia’s Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka took the first two points in the bronze medal match earlier on the Olympic court, but Verge-Depre and Heidrich reacted with four in a row and were practically in control for the rest of the set. The Latvians managed to catch up on a few occasions and even denied the first two of three consecutive Swiss set points, but finally handed the set to Verge-Depre and Heidrich on an unforced error for the last point. Again, with four in a row, the Swiss broke away early into the second set (5-1) and never looked back. They completely dominated through the end, with Verge-Depre delivering the winner for a 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) victory.

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