April Ross and Alix Klineman Vie for Gold in Beach Volleyball
The American duo of April Ross and Alix Klineman are sure to win at least silver in beach volleyball, which would be Ross’ third Olympic medal. But the two are aiming for their first gold medal, facing Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Australia’s Taliqua Clancy in today’s final.
Ross won a silver medal at the London 2012 Games with partner Jen Kessy and a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Games with Kerri Walsh Jennings.
Klineman, 31, switched to beach volleyball in 2017 after primarily playing indoor volleyball, and teamed up with Ross, 39.
On Thursday, they beat Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Heidrich of Switzerland in straight sets, 21-12, 21-11, to advance to the gold medal game.
When asked if aiming for an Olympic medal was becoming old news, Ross laughed.
“No!” she said emphatically. “We will prepare as much as possible and recover as much as possible for tomorrow. “
The final will be played in sunny Tokyo midday. But Ross and Klineman don’t seem worried. They are getting used to the heat, they said, and are mentally prepared for the sweltering conditions expected in the final.
Artacho del Solar and Clancy hope to follow in the footsteps of Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, the last Australian duo to win an Olympic medal in the sport, a gold in 2000.
The gold medal game is scheduled for Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Tokyo, Thursday at 10:30 p.m. EST, and will be televised live on NBC.
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