Vienna, Austria, August 4, 2017 - Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst are one win away of becoming a “triple crown” winner on the FIVB World Tour as the Germans are in position to win the sport’s world championships after topping the podium last season at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals.
Seeded fourth in the competition, Ludwig and Walkenhorst advanced to the women’s gold medal match at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships here Friday by defeating teams from the United States and Brazil. The Germans will now play Lauren Fendrick and April Ross for the title after the 14th-seeded Americans defeated two teams from Canada Friday.
Ludwig and Walkenhorst posted a 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) semi-final win in 37 minutes over top-seeded Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca of Brazil. It was the seventh FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with the Germans winning six times, including a semi-final win over Talita and Larissa at the Rio Olympics.
Fendrick and Ross gained a berth in the finals with a 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-11) win in 55 minutes over seventh-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Canada. It was the second FIVB meeting between the two teams with Humana-Paredes and Pavan defeating the Americans in two sets at a Polish World Tour event on July 27 in Olsztyn.
The US$1-million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 will feature six matches (four men and two women) Saturday at the state-of-the art venue at Donauinsel with the focal point of the action and entertainment being held with a picturesque view of the Danube River and the lively atmosphere of the Beach Village.
A total of 216 matches will be contested over a 10-day period at the world championships where the winning men’s and women’s teams will each split the $60,000 first-place prizes. The women’s medal matches will be played Saturday and the men’s Sunday. With 96 teams from 40 countries in the competition, pool play highlights the first six days of play with the featured court being the 10,000-seat Red Bull Beach Arena.