USA’s Larsen/Flint Take Tangshan Open Gold with Five Straight-Set Wins

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 18th, 2017 | FIVB World Tour, News, Pro Beach

2017 FIVB World Tour – Tangshan Open

Americans Kelly Larsen and Betsi Flint grabbed their first FIVB World Tour medal, taking Gold at the Tangshan Two-Star Open on Sunday.

The American duo did not drop a set in five matches at the event. The pair earned their semifinal spot after notching a 21-7, 21-11 win over China’s Jing Wang/Jiaxi Wang; downing Japan’s Miki Ishii/Negynu Murakami 22-20, 21-15 and topping Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee 21-15, 21-18 in the quarters.

Once in medal contention, Larsen/Flint took out Czech duo Martina Bonnerova and Sarka Naladalova 23-21, 21-15 to move on to the final. There, the duo crushed the hopes of Chinese fans, taking out homegrown product Shuhui Wen and Xinyi Xia 21-19, 21-12.

“We’re so excited, this was a great tournament with some really good teams and thought Bets and I came out here and played really well against each and every team,” Larsen said. “We worked hard, came from behind. We’re happy to be here, it’s a cool set-up, cool environment and we’re so glad that we won gold,” said Larsen.

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Champagne Showers in China!!!🥇🍾 #GOLD #FIVB #podiumselfie #celebrate #letsgoooo #firstFIVBoftheyear #kelleysabeast

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Wen/Xia made the final by topping Lithuania’s Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Poviliatyte, 21-17, 21-18.

“Even though we lost the match today, I still think we have done great here,” Xia said. We kept going all the way even though we felt quite tired and we have also learnt a lot from our opponents. This is our first World Tour event together and we got the silver medal, so we’re really happy for this memorable experience.”

Dumbauskaite/Poviliatyte went on to earn bronze, edging Bonnerova/Naladalova 25-23, 17-21, 15-7 in the third place match.

Bonnerova/Nakladalova finished second at the Langkawi One-Star, while the other three teams were making their 2017 FIVB Tour semifinal debut.



Wen/Xia made their way to the semis with sweeps of Thailand’s Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak (21-19, 21-12) and Canadians Megan Nagy/Marie-Christine Lapoint (21-9, 21-14) and a quarterfinal win over countrywomen and heavily favored Fan Wang/ Yuan Yue (13-21, 21-17, 15-11).

Dumbauskaite/Poviliatyte downed Japan’s Sayaka Mizoe/Suzuka Hashimoto 18-21, 21-12, 15-13 in the Round of 16 and topped Vanuatu’s Loti Joe/Linline Matauatu 21-13, 21-13 in the quarters. The Tangshan Open marks the Lithuanian side’s first FIVB World Tour of the season.

Bonnerova/Nakladalova topped Russians Yulia Abalakina/Ksenia Dabizha 21-19, 21-18 in the round of 24 and China’s Xinxin Wang/Chen Xue 21-19, 21-19 in the round of 16. The duo then defeated Americans Emily Stockman/Kimberly Dicello in the quarterfinals, 21-19, 21-15.

Flint – Larsen – USA Gold – Tangshan Open

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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