Winning their second gold in two weeks Chen Xue and Zhang Xi defeated Brazilians Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas De Freitas in the women’s final in the Gstaad Grand Slam. Taiana Lima and Talita Antunes also of Brazil took the bronze over Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.
For Americans, the big story of the Gstaad Grand Slam was Kerri Walsh’s return to international competition with April Ross as her new partner. After an excellent showing in pool play that earned the star-studded duo a bye to the second round, they fell to Maria Antonelli and Agatha Bednarczuk of Brazil.
However two other American teams did well in the women’s tournament: Brooke Sweat and Jennifer Fopma as well as Summer Ross and Emily Day made it to the third round before losing to strong German and Brazilian teams respectively. The finish was the highest of the season for both teams.
The men’s tournament culminated in an all-Brazil final with Ricardo Alex Costa Santos and Alvaro Morais Filho taking on and defeating Pedro Solberg Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt. It was the first gold medal as a team for Ricardo and Alvaro and the first-ever FIVB gold for Alvaro.
Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson continued their excellent performance in their first season as partners, earning a bronze medal in Gstaad with a win over World Champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen.