April Ross and Alix Klineman Pick Gold in Beach Volleyball


April Ross will play for her third Olympic medal in beach volleyball.

On Thursday morning, as the sand scorched in the sun and the spots remained in the shade, the American duo Ross and Alix Klineman defeated Switzerland’s Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Heidrich in two sets 21-12, 21-. 11, to switch to the gold medal game.

Ross won a silver medal at the 2012 Games in London with his partner Jen Kessy and a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games with Kerri Walsh Jennings.

Now with Klineman, an indoor volleyball player transitioning to beach volleyball in 2017, Ross is looking to add a tough gold medal to his collection.

They expected the semi-finals to be tough. Vergé-Dépré and Heidrich advanced to the semi-finals with an impressive streak, beating Brazil 21-19, 18-21, 15-12 on Tuesday.

When asked if going to any Olympic medals is old news, Ross laughed.

“Number!” he said emphatically. We will prepare and recover as best we can for tomorrow,” he said.

This rest will need to come soon. The final will be played in the Tokyo sun at noon. But Ross and Klineman don’t seem worried. They said they got used to the heat and prepared mentally for the sweltering conditions expected in the final.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, the last Australian duo to win gold in 2000, the Australians will face Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy.

The gold medal match will be played in Tokyo at 11:30 on Friday and at 22:30 in the East on Thursday.


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