The United States beach volleyball duo of April Ross and Alix Klineman are Olympic champions.
Ross, who won silver and bronze medals prior to the Tokyo Olympics, took a gamble in late 2017 when she became partners with Klineman, who had less than a year of beach volleyball experience.
The payoff, however, has been a rather perfect Olympic campaign in Tokyo.
Ross and Klineman defeated Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy in straight sets during Thursday night’s gold-medal match. The two, who never dropped a set through four elimination games, took the first set, 21-15, before sealing the win in the second, 21-16.
CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH! 🥇The A-Team of @AprilRossBeach and @alixklineman is GOLDEN in beach volleyball #TokyoOlympics x @TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/zxBfQOtZ6w— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 6, 2021
CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH! 🥇The A-Team of @AprilRossBeach and @alixklineman is GOLDEN in beach volleyball #TokyoOlympics x @TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/zxBfQOtZ6w
Team USA has won gold in four of the last five Olympic women’s beach volleyball tournaments.
Ross, who won silver with Jen Kessy in 2012 and bronze with Kerri Walsh Jennings in 2016, completed her Olympic collection with a gold medal.
She also cemented her spot in American beach volleyball history as one of just three women with multiple Olympic medals — Jennings and Misty May-Treanor are the others.
In her Olympic debut, the 31-year-old Klineman claimed the top prize.