Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst topped second-seeded Brazilians Agatha and Barbara 21-18, 21-14 to win beach volleyball gold at the Rio Olympic Games. 

The German duo swept Agatha and Barbara in straight sets to secure the nation’s first medal in women’s beach volleyball.

Fourth-seeded Ludwig/Walkenhorst boasted a strong showing in their international debut in 2013 but faced a major setback when Walkenhorst was diagnosed with a viral infection and was forced to take time off from competition. The pair reunited in 2015 and were in peak form by the start of the 2016 season. The pair won four FIVB World Tour events in the 2016 season ahead of the Games. 

The German women will join London Olympians Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann as Germany’s only beach volleyball medalists. 

Brazil’s Agatha and Barbara took silver in their Olympic debuts while USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross defeated Larissa and Talita of Brazil for bronze. 

The men’s beach volleyball tournament will conclude on Aug. 17 as Brazil’s Alison and Bruno Schmidt take on Nicolai/Lupo of Italy for gold while Semenov/Krasilnikov of Russia and the Netherland’s Brouwer/Meeuwsen will battle for silver. 

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