Germany has defeated the United States to win the gold medal in the 2017 FIVB World Championships in Vienna, Austria. Germany was represented by Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, who captured their third Beach Volleyball major championship since partnering in 2013. Settling for silver was Lauren Fendrick and April Ross.
The championship matchup was somewhat unexpected as Germany entered the event as the fourth seed and the United States came in seeded 14th. Neverthless, both teams came into the finale undefeated in the tournament. Ross and Fendrick won the first set 21-19 but then faltered 13-21 and 9-15 to Walkenhorst and Ludwig. The Germans won $60,000 for their gold finish with the Americans getting $45,000 for silver.
Ludwig won the most valuable player award for the tournament. This is the first ever championship for a European team in the FIVB World Championships, with past gold medals being awarded to Brazil, the United States and China.
[More from Excelle Sports: U.S. falls to Serbia in opening match of FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals]
Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca of Brazil defeated Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Canada in three sets to claim the bronze medal.