Women’s Beach Volleyball Day 10 Review: US pair rocks Beijing
Updated: 2008-08-21 14:21:46
Misty May-Treanor (L) spikes. (Photo credit: Xinhua)
(, August 21) — Today the American duo of and proved that they are the best-ever team in the history of the fledgling Olympic sport. By beating ‘s and in the final of the Women’s competition, Walsh and May-Treanor won their second gold medal and remained undefeated in Olympic competition.
It is anticipation and speed which set Walsh and May-Treanor apart. They are always thinking one step ahead, which allows them to save more points than most. There was one piece of play today when the hulking Wang jumped up and prepared to fire her fist into the ball, but the 188cm-tall Walsh had already turned around and was motoring towards the back of the court.
For a wof her height, Walsh is incredibly fast. And she complements her speed by having a great spike and block. May-Treanor, on the other hand, is the quiet achiever. She cruises around the court with murderous efficiency, using Walsh to carry out hits on the opposition. With their tattoos and wild eyes, Walsh and May-Treanor are the rock ‘n’ roll couple of Olympic sport.
Wang Jie/Tian Jia, Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor and Xue Chen/Zhang Xi.(Photo credit: Getty Images)
This of course, couldn’t be more different from their opponents today. China seems to abound with tall women who can whack balls at high speeds, but their ball play is not always creative.
Some of Tian’s serves today were so hard and flat that even May-Treanor could do nothing but let the ball thud into her forearm. Despite their impressive serves, Tian and Wang could not prevent Walsh and May-Treanor from outplaying them at the end of each set.
China has improved a lot at Beach Volleyball, but its teams still lack the vim that Walsh and May-Treanor so clearly possess.
However, the silver and bronze medals that China won today are the country’s first in Olympic Beach Volleyball – a sure sign that there are now three spokes in the wheel of the women’s competition. Following the loss of‘s Renata Ribeiro and Talita Rocha in today’s bronze medal match against China’s and , Brazil is without a medal in Women’s Beach Volleyball for the first time since the sport was introduced to the at . However, this should not be seen as a sign of Brazil’s imminent demise, but a sign that China has arrived as a serious player.
It is still unclear whether Walsh and May-Treanor intend to compete at London 2012. If they can maintain their high levels of speed and anticipation, then they have a strong chance of winning a third gold medal. As they have proven in Beijing, the gap between them and the rest of the field is as wide as ever.