Germans grab Gstaad Major gloryFoto FIVB Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany to Gstaad Major success and denied Brazilians Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Da Rocha Antunes a historic third successive title.
The Europeans lost in the quarterfinals in 2016, but they made no mistake this year – securing gold and a USD 40,000 payday with a brilliant 21-18, 22-20 victory in the world’s highest beach volleyball tournament. Reigning champions Larissa and Talita were aiming to become the first team in history to win the same Swatch Major Series title on the spin. However, the South Americans were unable to live with their in-form opponents who have quickly established themselves as the number one team from Germany.
Chantal and Julia, who won bronze in the Fort Lauderdale Major earlier in the season, had never beaten Larissa and Talita in their four previous meetings – but it took the Germans just 39 minutes to change that statistic and lift the coveted golden cowbell, one of the most unique trophies in beach volleyball. “We had never beaten them before, so to do it in this amazing tournament makes me so happy,” said 27-year-old Laboureur. “I was so happy to see the final ball drop and for sure we’re going to enjoy this moment.” Sude, 29, added: “Finally we’ve won a cowbell! I can’t believe we won the gold medal because it’s a very big success for us.”
Silver medalist Talita, 34, said: “It’s not the result we wanted but we’re still happy to have got to the final. We made too many mistakes and they played better than us. “However, we can be happy to be the final again in such an amazing place.” In the bronze medal match, Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredessecured their second medal in a week as they crushed Switzerland’s hopes of a podium finish.
Swiss fans started the day hoping home team Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Heidrich would end a 17-year wait for a home gold medal. However, the North American duo were too strong, winning in straights sets 21-15, 21-12.