Olympics: Beach Volleyball

Germans win men’s beach volleyball gold

Jonas Reckermann, left, goes up for a block against Alison Cerutti, with Emanuel Rego waiting behind him. (Ryan Pierse — Getty Images)

Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann of Germany scored a 23-21, 16-21, 16-14 win over Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego of Brazil in the final of the men’s beach volleyball tournament, giving Germany (and Europe) its first gold medal in the sport.

A Brazilian team lost in the men’s gold medal match for the third time, following silver medal performances in 2008 and 2000 (though Brazil won gold in 2004).

Latvians win beach volleyball bronze

Martins Plavins helped Latvia’s duo win bronze on the beach. (Dave Martin/AP)

Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins of Latvia won the bronze medal Thursday in beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade, defeating Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil of the Netherlands, 19-21, 21-19, 15-11.

Plavins and Smedins lost only one match in the tournament, to Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in the semifinals. Cerutti and Rego play in the gold medal match later Thursday.

Plavins and Smedins had beaten the pair from the Netherlands, 2-1, in pool play.

Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor win third gold

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings again win gold in beach volleyball. (Petr David Josek -- Associated Press)

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor won their third Olympic gold medal in women’s beach volleyball, topping fellow Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy in straight sets, 21-16, 21-16.

Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor watched as Ross’s final serve flew too long, and the two began celebrating. The longtime teammates circled the perimeter of the picturesque Horse Guards Parade grounds to greet fans. Walsh Jennings, in tears, was pulled into the stands at one point.

Walsh and May-Treanor take first set

Misty May Treanor scrambles for the ball in the gold medal final. (Dave Martin -- Associated Press)

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor captured the first set, 21-16, over fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in the women’s beach volleyball gold medal match..

Walsh and May-Treanor held a slim 15-14 lead before pulling ahead with a 5-1 run.

Walsh and May-Treanor won the last two gold medals in the event.

Kessy/Ross advance to all-American beach volleyball final

Jennifer Kessy (left) and April Ross celebrate a point in their semifinal match against Brazil. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The U.S. is guaranteed a third straight gold medal in women’s beach volleyball after the team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy won their semifinal, 15-21, 21-19, 15-12, against Brazil’s Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca. Ross and Kessy will meet Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings, the two-time defending Olympic champions, in the gold medal match on Wednesday.

Ross and Kessy dropped the first set on a rainy night at Horse Guards Parade. In the third, they failed to convert their first two match points, but a Kessy kill gave them the win and a berth in the final.

Kessy/Ross force third set in beach volleyball semifinal

Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy rallied to force a third and decisive set in their women’s beach volleyball semifinal. The Americans won the second set, 21-19, after dropping the first, 21-15, to Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil.

The winner of this match will meet two-time defending Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the final on Wednesday. The loser will meet China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi in the bronze medal match.

May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings advance to gold medal match

Kerri Walsh Jennings (left) and Missy May-Treanor advanced to their third straight gold medal match. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings will go for an  unprecedented third straight gold medal in beach volleyball on Wednesday after beating the Chinese duo of Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, 22-20, 22-20, in 44 minutes. Chen and Zhang were bronze medalists in Beijing in 2008.

In the second set of Tuesday’s semifinals, the Americans fought off one set point and then won on a block by Walsh Jennings. May-Treanor celebrated by slapping high fives with the crowd at Horse Guards Parade.

May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings await the winner of Tuesday’s other semifinal, which pits Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy against Brazilians Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva.