Connect with us


US wins Phuket Thailand Open

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: American Kerri Walsh won her 39th career FIVB world tour gold medal, part of a historic day in the US$190,000 Phuket Thailand Open, the women’s beach volleyball finals played here yesterday.

Along with partner Nicole Branagh, the US side defeated surprise opponents Marta Menegatti and Valeria Rosso of Italy, 21-23, 21-14, 15-11. Carolina and Maria Clara Salgado of Brazil won the bronze medal by defeating Sanne Keizer and Marlene Van Iersel of Holland, 21-17, 21-14.

The title gives Walsh sole possession of the lead in overall tour wins. She had been tied at 38 with former partner Misty May-Treanor, since the end of 2008.

This week Walsh partnered with Branagh for the third time. Two of their events have produced wins, having also won in Dubai in 2008. She missed the entire 2009 season and all but two events this year while giving birth to two boys in May 2009 and 2010.

“It feels like a new world to me because all that I have accomplished is so far behind me,” Walsh said. “This win is so special to me; it’s my first win as a mother of two. I would feel better about it if I had played better in the last match. I’m bummed I let the nerves get to me. I’ve played some big matches in big settings, but today I was nervous,” she admitted.

The fourth-seeded Americans became just the fourth women’s team to win a SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal after winning five elimination matches. They had lost in the second round to Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez Steiner of Spain, but then swept six straight opponents before the title match.

In the gold medal tiebreaker set to 15 points, the USA led just 5-4 when they went on a 6-2 run to gain control at 11-6.

Surprise finalists Menegatti and Rosso, the first Italian team to ever compete in a gold medal match, seemed to have the crowd on their side.

The 16th-seeded duo became partners during the week preceding last week’s tournament in Sanya, China, due to an injury to Menegatti’s regular partner, Greta Cicolari.

“We really came here to win gold; it was not enough to just be here,” Rosso said. “We made it this far due to our service game, but today we weren’t serving very well. I feel like we both grew up a lot here.”

The Brazilian Salgado sisters defeated the top-seeded team in Phuket and suffered just one loss in the tournament, but the semifinal defeat at the hands of the Italians prevented them from playing for the gold medal. Instead, the eighth-seeded team finished the season with a bronze medal. The Salgados defeated Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands 21-17, 21-14 to win their third bronze of the year and ninth career medal.

“I would have liked it to end a little better, but it’s nice to get a bronze,” said Maria Clara. “It’s a big step for us to finish the way we did the last two events (placed fourth in Sanya). We were tired. We have domestic events every other week in Brazil and we have to go right back for the next one. The high finish means we shouldn’t have to play in the country quota next season.”

In the five-year history of events in Phuket, the Americans have won the last four, with Walsh also winning in 2007 with May-Treanor and Jen Kessy and April Ross claiming the titles in 2008 and 2009.

In the Federbrau Beach Volleyball Hotel Challenge, Le Meridien took the gold, while the Hilton Arcadia Resort and Spa took silver and the JW Marriott took bronze.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 18,027 infections, expat vaccine registration

Transport8 hours ago

August flight plans: Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

New site for foreigner vaccine; Mor Prom deletes appointments

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Politics11 hours ago

Facebook fake news post suggesting a coup faces prosecution

Koh Samui15 hours ago

UPDATED: Samui Covid-19: 14 new Black Club infections, 2nd small cluster

Thailand16 hours ago

40,000 cases a day could happen by September, says projection

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket16 hours ago

Phuket Sandbox Covid-19 infections: 35 today, 209 this week

Thailand17 hours ago

Prayut says he will not resign, warns politicians to behave

Thailand18 hours ago

Bangkok Train market to possibly close for good

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Border between Kanchanaburi and Myanmar closed until…

Thailand19 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 18,912 infections, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

PCD says don’t throw away used masks in water bottles after infections linked to bottles

Thailand21 hours ago

Government says it’s okay to criticise them, if it’s fact based

Thailand22 hours ago

Bangkok volunteer group “Sai Mai Will Survive” overwhelmed with calls

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Phuket reservations slow down for August

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8