Xue/Zhang win first title at beach volleyball world championships
Updated: 2013-07-09 09:35
Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, right, receive bouquets of flowers on the podium after winning their first title at the beach volleyball world championships in Stare Jablonki, Poland, July 6, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]
STARE JABLONKI, Poland - Chinese pair Xue Chen and Zhang Xi beat Karla Borge and Britta Buthe of Germany 18-21, 21-17, 21-19 in a nail-biting final to win the women's title at the beach volleyball world championships on Saturday.
The top seeds saved one match point when falling behind 14-13 in the third set. Then they won six match points straight down, five of which were saved by the German team.
"When I saw the ball landed on their half and the crowd were clasping their hands for us, I realized we have won the final," said the 24-year-old Xue Chen.
"It was a very close match, and we stayed focused all the way. We never allowed ourselves to be distracted," she added.
The Chinese team should have won easily, according to their coach Xue Gang.
"My players are technically better, and mentally they are good too. But they made some easy mistakes to make the match unnecessarily tough for themselves," he said.
Zhang Xi, 28, agreed with her coach saying: "We had some chances in the first set, but failed to grasp them. We played the match with a relaxed attitude, and I think that helped a lot."