Olympics beach volleyball: Third straight gold for American pair

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May-Treanor & Walsh retain gold

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings won their third consecutive Olympic beach volleyball gold with an emphatic win over fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross.

May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings have never lost a match at the Olympics and have only ever dropped only one set.

They were always in control and won 21-16 21-16 in just 36 minutes.

Brazil's Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva beat China's Chen Xue and Xi Shang 11-21 21-19 15-12 for bronze.

May-Treanor, 35, said before the Games that she would retire after the tournament, but 33-year-old Walsh-Jennings intends to continue playing.

Kessy and Ross started brightly to take an early lead but the champions soon rallied to take the first set.

Roared on by a capacity crowd, including double Olympic champion Laura Trott, May-Treanor repeatedly flung herself around the back of the court to make point-saving interventions, while partner Walsh was an impassable force at the net.

Walsh brought up match point with another huge block at the net and the match was sealed when Ross served out.

"It's hard to stay on top," said May-Treanor after confirming her retirement. "This is so special. Winning the first gold, we were young and it was sweet, but we didn't really take it all in.

"Winning back to back is very difficult, but to go for a 'three-peat'... you couldn't write this script. I'm proud of the journey Kerri and I have taken."

The pair disbanded after their win in Beijing, with May-Treanor rupturing her Achilles on the American version of Strictly Come Dancing and Walsh-Jennings having two children.

But they decided to rekindle their relationship over lunch and have steadily returned to form in time for May-Treanor's final game.

She insisted: "This is my last match. Volleyball is not my career any more. It's time for me to be a wife and a mum. I want to share time with my family. Athletes sacrifice so much, my mind and body says it's time."

Walsh-Jennings, nicknamed 'Six Feet of Sunshine', admitted her third Olympic gold was laced with sadness.

At high school, the 17-year-old Walsh asked the then Misty May for her autograph and the pair went on to dominate the sport together.

"Misty is the best there has ever been and she is like my sister," Walsh-Jennings said.

"She has changed my life. Our journey is done and that crushes me. It is bittersweet. We are undefeated in three Olympics and that says a lot."

Final Results

Final results by Country
Rank Athlete Country Medal moment
1 Kerri Walsh Jennings, Misty May-treanor Team USA
2 April Ross, Jennifer Kessy Team USA
3 Juliana Felisberta, Larissa Franca Brazil