Hamburg, Germany, August 23, 2017 - Reigning Olympic and world champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany continued their winning ways in front of their home family, friends and fans here Wednesday by defeating Brazilian rivals Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca at the $800,000 Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone.
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Playing before a crowd of nearly 6,000 fans on the centre court at Rothenbaum Stadium, the 10th-seeded Ludwig and Walkenhorst posted a 2-1 (21-17, 21-19) Pool B win in 33 minutes over Talita and Larissa in the eighth FIVB World Tour match between the two teams.
Over 6,000 fans watched the Germany v Brazil match Wednesday at Rothenbaum Stadium centre court
Ludwig and Walkenhorst are the defending World Tour Finals champions after winning the gold medals at the 2016 event in Toronto, Canada. The Germans also won a gold medal at the 2016 Hamburg Major and Wednesday's win was their eighth-straight victory at Rothenbaum Stadium.
The Germans have now won five-straight matches over Talita and Larissa with two of the victories being in the semifinals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and earlier this month at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna. The only Brazilian win was in the gold medal match at the 2015 Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals at Fort Lauderdale in the United States in south Florida.
The two teams complete pool play Thursday against seventh-seeded Summer Ross and Brooke Sweat of the United States. Talita and Larissa play the Americans at 13.00 (local time) on a side court at Rothenbaum Stadium with Ludwig and Walkenhorst play Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat at 19.00 on the centre court.
The third annual World Tour Finals continues through Sunday when the men’s final four matches will be played. The women’s medal matches will be contested Saturday as the winning teams in each gender’s competition will split the $100,000 first-place prizes.