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28/10/2012 14:00
Russian duo claims silver at last stop of FIVB World Tour
News from the FIVB

Bangsaen, Thailand, October 28, 2012. USA’s Jennifer Kessy and April Ross claimed their third Thailand Open title on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour on Sunday in Bangsaen. In the first ever USA-Russia final in women’s FIVB World Tour history they beat Russia’s Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova in two sets: 21-17 21-19.
Brazil’s Barbara Seixas de Freitas won her first World Tour medal ever with her partner Agatha Bednarczuk in the bronze medal match against USA’s Lauren Fendrick and Nicole Branagh (19-21 21-19 15-9).

Kessy (35) and Ross (30) played all six previous editions of the Thailand Open in Phuket, the first one in 2006 with different partners. They won gold before in 2008 and 2009 and finished second last year. Overall they collected 10 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals in 71 events on the World Tour. The pair won bronze at the Grand Slam in Rome this year and silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“Winning silver at the Olympics was great, but we really wanted this medal’’, Kessy said. ’’We were desperate to win here. We won gold in every year we played together, but this year we left it till the very end”.  

“It was tough, we fought against the weather here and we reached the final the hard way, through the loser’s bracket, but we did it’’, said Ross, who dedicated her medal to her grandfather who passed away a couple of days ago.

The Russian team, who claimed gold in Klagenfurt this year and bronze in Aland, did not get a lot of chances against the experienced Americans. They were trailing the whole first set, had a small lead in the second set at 12-10, but gave that away again quickly. Ukolova and Khomyakova managed to save one match point at 20-18, but right after that Kessy finished the match with a cross court spike: 21-17 21-19.

Evgenia Ukolova said: “This was not our greatest game. We are not happy with our performance today, but we are happy with the end of the season, finishing third and second in the last two events”.

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