Germany deny Brazil beach volleyball gold on Copacabana Beach


Brazil's dream of crowning a home Olympics with a gold medal in women's beach volleyball was ended in the early hours of Thursday morning on a raucous Copacabana Beach.

German pair Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst coolly refused to read the script which said a sport that claims its origins on the Brazilian sands was destined to celebrate its highest accolade on home soil.

Ludwig and Walkenhorst shrugged off a partisan atmosphere at the temporary venue just yards from the surf to clinch a straight-sets victory 21-18 21-14.

Brazilian pair Agatha and Barbara had fought their way into the final and were backed by a bustling crowd that had drifted in ahead of the game's midnight start time.

Brazil has won 11 Olympic medals in beach volleyball, second only to the United States, including at least one at every Games since the sport was introduced in 1996 in Atlanta.

The night had started badly for the hosts as a second Brazilian pair, Larissa and Talita, were beaten by Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross in the bronze medal game.

And despite there being no let-up in the pulsating atmosphere it was Ludwig and Walkenhorst - who had put paid to the prospect of an all-Brazilian final the previous night - who dominated the opening set.

Laura Ludwig and teammate Kira Walkenhorst celebrate after defeating Brazil

Moving 15-8 up in the second, the Germans appeared to have gold at their mercy, but a late charge by Brazilians reduced the deficit to three points and sent the crowd wild with expectation.

But Ludwig and Walkenhorst evidently were not in the mood for romance, and they shrugged off the boos to continue moving closer to a second beach volleyball gold medal for Germany.

It arrived in anti-climactic fashion when Barbara flopped a serve wide to signal an end to the Brazilian women's hopes of a gold medal on home sand.