16.10.2023 - Tlaxcala, Mexico
In the women’s competition, none other than the current top three teams in the world ranking stepped on the podium. Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes became the third American team from their country to triumph at the World Championships, and the first Americans to win since April Ross and Jennifer Kessy in Stavanger, Norway in 2009. This is the United States’ fifth women’s gold, just one less than Brazil. This year, the Americans defeated Brazil’s defending world champions Duda/Ana Patrícia, who won the event in Rome last year.
The bronze medal went to another American team, Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss, who are one step lower on the podium than Duda/Ana Patrícia for the third time in a row, after recently losing the gold medal matches in both Paris and Hamburg. This is the first time since 1999 that two American teams managed to claim a medal in the same World Championships. They won the bronze medal match in three exciting sets (21-15, 19-21, 8-15) against Australian Olympic medalists Clancy/Mariafe, whom they also just beat in Paris.
Cheng and Hughes’ victory also earned the US a spot at next year’s Paris Olympics. If they are to take the spot, this would be Cheng’s second Olympic appearance after Tokyo 2020 and Hughes’ first.
After just claiming gold in Paris, the Czech power duo Perušič/Schweiner climbed the podium again to win gold in a thrilling three-set (21-15, 17-21, 15-13) battle against Åhman/Hellvig. Schweiner and his interim partner Trousil had previously lost to the Swedish youngsters at the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley in Vienna, but fought all the way to the top with his regular partner in Tlaxcala. Along the way they even defeated defending world champions Mol/Sørum in the quarterfinals. Though they entered only 16th on the seed list, Perušič/Schweiner also managed to write beach history: This is not only the Czech duo’s first time on the World Championships podium, but also the first beach volleyball world title for Czechia. Åhman/Hellvig, however, also made their home country proud, winning Sweden’s first ever medal in the Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Polish Michal Bryl and Bartosz Łosiak finished the all-European men’s podium, the second all-European podium in World Championship history after 2019. They defeated the Americans Brunner/Crabb in two sets (21-17, 21-18).
Czechia has also earned a spot in next year’s Paris Olympics, which, if taken by Perušič/Schweiner, will be their second appearance at the Olympics after Tokyo 2020.
With three Austrian duos participating, Austria secured the 17th place three times. Austrian champions Klinger/Klinger only narrowly lost against the new world champions Cheng/Hughes in a three-set-match (27-25, 19-21, 15-9). In the men’s competition, Hörl/Horst, who currently occupy the 15th spot in the world ranking, lost to German champions Ehlers/Wickler. Austrian champions Seidl/Pristauz, after they won against Hörl/Horst in the pool play, lost to the Brazilian duo Pedro Solberg/Guto in a thrilling three-set match (21-13, 15-21, 11-15).