(LONDON) — Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor made beach volleyball history Wednesday as the first women to earn three consecutive gold medals.
It was an all-American final as the pair battled U.S. newcomers April Ross and Jennifer Kessey. The first set began with the two teams keeping each other within one point, but Walsh and May-Treanor’s lead opened up toward the end, and their momentum carried them to an easy 21-16 victory.
The match stayed close in the second set, with the teams tied at 11 before the defending gold medalists opened up the first significant lead of the set. A rally by Kessey and Ross brought them within one point again, but their efforts were not enough to thwart Walsh and May-Treanor on their path to the Olympic record books.
The gold medal extended not only Walsh and May-Treanor’s reign in the women’s beach volleyball world, but also U.S. domination in the sport. Since it became an Olympic sport in 1996, Americans have won six of the nine gold medals awarded in beach volleyball.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN