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Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Americans triumph on the beach
Blanton and Fonoimoana
Blanton and Fonoimoana celebrate securing gold
The USA team of Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana took the men's beach volleyball title by defeating the Brazilian pairing of Marco de Melo and Ricardo Santos in two sets.

But the gold medal match was hardly played out in the type of conditions that are normally associated with the sport.

Indeed the persistent drizzle that plagued the match was more characteristic of Scarborough than Sydney.

It was a hard-fought contest throughout, and the Brazilians looked poised to claim the first set when leading 11-8.

But they missed a couple of chances and the Americans punished them, coming back to sneak the set 12-11.

After taking the first set, the Americans led throughout the second although it was always tight.

Dain Blanton
The US coped well with the adverse conditions
When they took a 10-7 lead America seemed to have broken the Brazilians, but they were pegged back to 10-9 and forced to fight all the way to the finish.

The game swung from side to side with neither team able to break the stalemate for 15 minutes until the Americans finally won the rally that took them to match point.

It proved pivotal and the American pair sealed victory with a block at the net at the very next point.

Germany take bronze

Earlier Germany had taken the bronze with a two set win over Portugal.

Jorg Ahmann and Alex Hager took the game 12-9 12-6 against Portugal's Luis Maia and Joao Brenha.

Playing in heavy rain, the Germans won the opening set in 40 minutes then clinched the second in another 30 minutes to snatch bronze from the Portuguese pair who also finished fourth at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The sport's world governing body, Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), said it was so pleased with the way the tournament went that it was already planning to come back to Bondi.

"We are discussing the idea of holding a women's tournament at Bondi next year," FIVB president Ruben Acosta said.

"There is still plenty to do before this is confirmed but if it works out we would try for a men's and women's tournament at Bondi in 2002.

"The model of Sydney for beach volleyball will be followed in future Olympics."

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See also:

23 Sep 00 |  Other Sports
'Dream machine' flattens Brazilians
19 Sep 00 |  Other Sports
US qualification attracts controversy
19 Sep 00 |  Photo Gallery
Beach volleyball - in pictures
24 Sep 00 |  Other Sports
US and Brazil reach final
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