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Published: Tue, August 23, 2016
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Olympics: US beach volleyball legend departs with bronze

Olympics: US beach volleyball legend departs with bronze

For the first time since 2000, Kerri Walsh Jennings won't be competing for an Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball after she and teammate April Ross were eliminated by Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas de Freitas on Tuesday night. Deixeira, a businessman from northern Brazil, was one of thousands of Brazilians who paid top dollar to watch the match at the Copacabana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Jennings had won the gold medal in each of the previous three Olympic games.

Playing with then-partner Misty May-Treanor, Walsh Jennings won her first gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where the announcer proudly told the rocking crowd he would never utter the words "Silence please!"

Walsh Jennings said her individual performance was "rocky", according to USA Today. "It was a highlight of my athletic career".

Running off their second set win, the US women put the first point on the board, holding a one-point advantage against the Brazilians. But the three-time champion delivered a pair of blocks for the final two points to clinch the bronze.

Whatever the cause, Walsh Jennings and Ross never did find a comfortable groove, although they kept things close and even led 18-16 in the first game before losing six of the final eight points.

Wrapping themselves in an American flag, the partners gave each other another long embrace.

"You've got to be able to pass the ball to win matches", Walsh Jennings said afterwards. When we needed points from my serve, I really had to go for my serve.

Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross missed out on gold, but by some metrics their toughest test was yet to come. "She doesn't ever want to leave the kids", her husband, Casey Jennings, said in the video. "If you ask everybody, everybody will say 'Kerri'". Those figures represent a 1 percent improvement from Monday, both in the overnight and in the demo, but they were significantly down from last Tuesday, when Michael Phelps and the women's gymnastics squad added to their extraordinary medal totals.

Walsh Jennings and partner April Ross were relegated to the third-place game by Brazil's reigning world champions, who beat the Americans in straight sets on Tuesday night to advance to a gold medal matchup with Germany.

Walsh Jennings and Ross will take on Brazil's other team, Larissa and Talita, in Wednesday evening's bronze medal match.

Well that's how you respond, Talita with a huge spike, but Ross matches her a moment later.

"I am so proud of my people, the Brazilian people", Talita said.

"It hit the heart", said Walsh Jennings. "He made it about being your best". The Dutch will play the loser for the bronze. She and Ross said they didn't let the Brazilian fans get to them, that in fact, it was a great atmosphere in which to play.

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