BEIJING (Reuters) - World champions Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser beat Brazil to win the men’s Olympic beach volleyball on Friday, making it two out of two for the United States who also won the women’s event.
The U.S. pair some took time to warm up but then fought point for point with Marcio Araujo and Fabio Luiz Magalhaes for two sets until Dalhausser found a new gear and showed why he has been nicknamed “The Beijing Beast”, smashing down block after block.
The final blow was too much for Marcio and Fabio Luiz, who eventually lost 21-23 21-17 4-15. As they climbed onto the podium to get their silver medals, they wept in each other’s arms, still reeling from the blocking onslaught.
Dalhausser could barely believe it himself.
“I‘m on cloud nine. This is the best feeling I’ve ever had. It’s unbelievable,” the 2.06-metre player said.
The U.S. pair have only been together for two years but have taken the beach volleyball world by storm, winning the 2007 world championships and leading the Olympic qualifications, although they had a shocking start to the Games losing to lowly Latvia.
Both men have said the secret of their success is the fact they are both chilled out. It was the same under the blazing Beijing sun on Friday.
“I just went up to Phil at the end of the second set and said hey let’s have fun,” said Rogers. “So Phil went out and had fun and I became a great cheerleader, just brought along the pom-poms, did a little cheer and let him do it.”
The Americans rolled around on top of each other in the sand as the last ball went in and then ran around the court so Rogers could leap into the stands to kiss his wife Melissa.
The Brazilians, who only made the Olympics at the last qualification event in July, burst into tears at coming so close.
Earlier, fellow Brazilians and Athens gold medalists Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, won bronze against Jorge Terceiro and Renato Gomes, two more Brazilians who now play for Georgia.
Editing by Nick Macfie