| London: Jonas Reckermann and Julius Brink gave Germany its first Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball Thursday, beating the World No. 1 pair of Brazil`s Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in the final.
Reckermann and Brink took the fight to reigning world champions Cerutti and Rego in the first set, scraping a 23-21 win, before the Brazilians bit back, winning the second 21-16.
The decider went down to the wire, tied at 14-14 before the Germans picked up the two points they needed for a 16-14 win after two mistakes from Rego, a gold medalist with Ricardo Santos in 2004.
Germany`s best previous result in men`s or women`s beach volleyball was bronze for Axel Hager and Joerg Ahmann in Sydney in 2000.
Latvia`s Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins won bronze, overpowering Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil of the Netherlands in a close-fought three-set match.
The Dutch players battled dogged resistance from the Latvians to win the first set 21-19, only for Plavins and Smedins to fight back in the second to win by the same score.
"I don`t know what to say," said Plavins.
"This year we hadn`t finished higher than ninth, so even to reach the semifinal was huge. Now we have won the bronze and we can`t wait to experience the medal ceremony."
The Latvian duo then closed out the match 15-11 in the decider for their country`s first medal in beach volleyball.
First Published: Friday, August 10, 2012, 04:17