TOKYO : Swiss duo Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich won the bronze medal in the women’s beach volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics after defeating Latvia’s Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka 21-19 21-15 on Friday.
With spectators still banned, about 10 officials from each country’s Olympic federation were on hand to cheer their teams at the shadeless court propped up alongside Tokyo Bay.
Latvia gave their supporters reason to hope by scoring three late points but it was the doctors, psychologist and other delegates from Switzerland who stood one final time to celebrate.
Heidrich looked up to them after the winning point, screamed into a camera in joy and then leapt onto a railing to hug her supporters.
The bronze marks Switzerland’s first in the Olympic women’s event, though the county won a men’s bronze medal in 2004.
The United States, the birthplace of beach volleyball, and Brazil have dominated the medals since it became an Olympic sport in 1996, winning nine of the 12 golds on offer coming into the 2020 Games.
While Brazil were eliminated earlier in the women’s tournament, the U.S. pair of April Ross and Alix Klineman will play for gold against Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy later on Friday.
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)