Slukova/Hermannova win Ostrava 4-star event in front of home crowd
In a thrilling and entertaining final, Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova (Czech Republic) won the FIVB Ostrava Open in front of their compatriot crowd. Despite rainy weather, the centre court was completey packed with an enthusiastic crowd cheering for the Czechs. In the end it was a close call but after having lost the first set, the Czech team beat Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson (Canada) in three sets (17:21, 21:15, 15:13) to win their second gold medal together.
The first set was dominated by strong blocker Brandie Wilkerson who sent the Czech attacks back to where they came from repeatedly. In the second set it was Marketa Slukova with amazing defending who caught the Canadians by surprise. Being pressured by Canadian attacks, Slukova scored several points by returning the attacks on one. The Czechs continued their strong performance in the third set and claimed the win with their fourth match point.
In the interview with Beach Volleyball Space last week, Marketa had emphasized Barbora’s and her vision of beach volleyball. Their performance this week seemed to be quite close to that vision. Barbora Hermannova after the final:
“We are very happy to win that gold medal in front of the home crowd…We had played against Brandie and Heather three times already and we always lost in two sets. After losing the first set, this time we said ‘no, not again!’. We tried to stay focused and patient with our game, we used the energy from outside the court, because the crowd here is super, we stuck together and we kept fighting through the end.”
The bronze medal went to Borger/Kozuch who beat Bieneck/Schneider in an all-German bronze medal match.
In the men’s competition, Herrera/Gavira (Spain) claimed gold against Kantor/Losiak (Poland) in three sets after winning an extended first set (27:25, 15:21, 15:11). Semenov/Leshukov from Russia won bronze against Czech team Perusic/Schweiner.