Phil Dalhausser (Orlando, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) became the first U.S. men's team to win a SWATCH-FIVB Beach World Championship title on Sunday at the US$1-million “Beach Bash” in Gstaad, Switzerland.
The United States becomes the second country after Brazil to sweep both the men’s and women’s titles in the same championship. The U.S. women’s team of Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Santa Clara, Calif.) won its third straight world championship on Saturday. The first World Championships were played in 1997.
“This weekend was about beach volleyball, but not just about beach volleyball,” said the 33-year Rogers, who was named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships. “For me, these experiences are what I will remember. It not only is the competition, but it is about the fans in the stands, the beautiful surroundings and the overall atmosphere of good feelings generated this weekend.”
Rogers also added, that his partner “was the real outstanding player for the event. I bet Phil that he would be the SWATCH top player for the event since this was a homecoming for him and his family. I share this award with him as he is becoming one of the great players in the world. I am lucky to have him as a partner.”
Dalhausser and Rogers seeded fourth, began their day on Sunday with a 2-1 (21-16, 13-21, 19-17) semifinal victory over the top-ranked Brazilian team of Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, former world champions and the defending Olympic gold medalists.
In the final, Dalhausser and Rogers defeated the sixth-seeded Russian team of Igor Kolodinsky and Dmitri Barsouk, 2-0 (21-16, 21-14), in 45 minutes.
With the victory, Dalhausser, who was born in Switzerland, and Rogers split a $60,000 paycheck and earn 1,000 points toward qualifying for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
“It is a tremendous feeling to win this title in front of my parents and relatives,” said the 27-year old Dalhausser, who lived a year in Switzerland before moving to the United States with his Swiss mother and German father. “We played two quality opponents today. Except for the second set against the Brazilians, we had a great day.”
In the bronze-medal match, 16th-ranked Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack used a 21-17 and 21-19 win in 42 minutes over Emanuel and Ricardo to become the first Australian men’s team to medal at the world championships.
More information is available on the FIVB beach volleyball web site at www.fivb.org/en/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.
World Championship Sports Network (WCSN), the premier destination for fans of Olympic and lifestyle sports, is offering the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) beach volleyball season via its broadband network at www.WCSN.com, available to everyone in the USA and its territories. www.WCSN.com will have extensive FIVB webcasts of every World Tour and Grand Slam event, including free coverage of the 2007 World Championships.