Ludwig & Walkenhorst first German women's Olympic “final four” finalists

 

Kira Walkenhorst (left) and Laura Ludwig of Germany celebrate a quarter-final win Sunday afternoon over Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada.

Ludwig & Walkenhorst first German women “final four” finalists

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 14, 2016 - Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst became the first German women’s team to advance to the “final four” at an Olympic Games as the pair dominated Heather Bansley and Sara Pavan of Canada here Sunday afternoon in the Rio 2016 “Summer” Games at the “Coliseu on Copacabana”.

With their 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) quarter-final win in 38 minutes to eliminate Bansley and Pavan from the competition, Ludwig and Walkenhorst snapped a three-match losing stretch to the Canadians, who has won four of the first five international meetings with the Germans.

The top team on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour ranking list, Ludwig and Walkenhorst with led for most of the match as the first set featured seven ties and four lead changes with the Germans breaking an 8-8 tied to take command with a three-point run to lead 12-9 and increasing the advantage to 18-11.  The second set had four ties and one lead change with Ludwig and Walkenhorst breaking from a 4-4 deadlock with a three-point run to take the lead for good at 7-4.

With the win, Ludwig and Walkenhorst will play top-seeded and gold medal favorites Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil or Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland in the women’s semi-finals Tuesday.

In finishing fifth in the competition by winning four of five matches, Bansley and Pavan became the second Canadian women’s team to advance to the Olympic quarter-finals to match the Athens 2004 Summer Games achievement by Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin.