Kerri Walsh Jennings’ perfect record at the Olympics is no more. The three-time gold medalist won’t have a chance to make it four after she and partner April Ross lost to the Brazilian duo of Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas early on Wednesday morning.
The gold medal matchup is set. It will be the German team of Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst against the Brazilians.
Bednarczuk and Seixas did what no team in history has ever done — beat Walsh Jennings at the Olympics. The accomplished American had won three straight beach volleyball golds while posting a spotless record on her way to the podium. However, she fell victim to some sloppy play on Tuesday night and an opportunistic opponent didn’t fail to capitalize on it. The Brazilian duo seemed to cover as much space as a six-person team, swimming through sand to pull out digs and keeping Walsh Jennings and Ross off balance throughout the matchup.
Bednarczuk and Seixas won in straight sets, 22-20 and 21-18.
Earlier in the day, the Germans were the first team to derail the Brazilian juggernaut of Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The pair had won five straight games in front of a home crowd in Rio, dropping only a single set along the way. That momentum came to a crashing halt against Ludwig and Walkenhorst, who broke the Brazilian favorites with a 21-18 win in the first set and then demoralized the fans at Copacabana Beach with a dominant 21-12 victory in the second.
All four teams will return to the beach on Wednesday for the final night of women’s beach volleyball. The bronze medal match will kick off at 9 p.m. ET, while the gold medal match gets started at 11 p.m.