TLAXCALA, Mexico, October 14, 2023.- For the seventh time in 14 editions of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and the first since 2011, beach volleyball powerhouses the United States and Brazil will meet in the gold medal match of the event, on Sunday, in Mexico.
Cheng/Hughes and Duda/Ana Patrícia to play for the world title in Mexico on Sunday
Set to start at 16:00 local time (22:00 UTC) at the Tlaxcala Bullring, the decider of the event will reunite Americans Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes and defending champions Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Ana Patrícia Ramos of Brazil. Earlier, at 13:15 local time (19:15 UTC), USA’s Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss and Australia’s Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho will meet for bronze.
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The gold medal match in Tlaxcala will be the tie-breaker between the countries when it comes to World Championships finals as each nation has won three of the previous six encounters and also between the two duos, which are even with two triumphs in their four international duels to date. The last final involving South Americans and North Americans was in 2011, when Juliana Felisberta and Larissa França defeated Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor in Rome.
Brazil, with 17 medals (six golds, five silver and six bronze), and the United States, with 11 (four golds, five silver and two bronze), are the top medal-winners among the women at the World Championships. In each of the 14 editions of the event, there was at least one team from one of the two countries at the podium and only once, in 2013, no Brazilians or Americans played in the final.
The all-American semifinal in Tlaxcala was a match full of ups and downs and turnarounds. Cheng and Hughes, who had lost a match in pool play in Mexico, took down the then-undefeated Kloth and Nuss in the tie-breaker (18-21, 21-12, 15-13) to move forward.
The duel in the semifinals in Tlaxcala marked the sixth time the two teams, who are the heavy favorites to represent the United States at next year’s Paris Olympics, met in 2023. It was the fourth time Cheng and Hughes prevailed over Kloth and Nuss, who had triumphed in the last two encounters.
The 28-year-old Cheng and Hughes, who are in their second stint as partners, continue in great form since they reunited, at the end of 2022. Since they joined forces again, the Americans have won four titles in the 12 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour events they played, never finishing worse than ninth.
In the match that ended the day at the Tlaxcala Bullring, Duda and Ana Patrícia continued their strong run to their second-straight world title, claiming their sixth two-set victory in the tournament, downing Tokyo Olympic silver medalists Clancy and Mariafe 2-0 (21-17, 21-14).
In men, Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner of the United States will play for the bronze medal against Poland’s Michal Bryl/Bartosz Łosiak at 12:00 local time (18:00 UTC). The gold medal will be at 14:30 local time (20:30 UTC) between Swedisth Åhman/Hellvig and Czechs Perusic/Schweiner.
The Americanas lost in semifinals to Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner (15-21, 12-21) in semifinals.