Chetumal, Mexico, November 16, 2019 – Top-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands and third-seeded Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb of the United States will compete in Sunday’s gold medal match at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event in Chetumal, Mexico.
The bronze medal match in the Mexican coastal city will feature another American team, Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, and German qualifiers Alexander Walkenhorst and Sven Winter.
By advancing to the final, Gibb and Crabb have secured their first World Tour medal as a team. The Americans, who are partners since 2017, are playing in their 26th international tournament together and have a pair of fourth-place finishes, including one at last season’s World Tour Finals, in Rome, in September, as their best results.
Gibb, a three-time Olympian, and the 27-year-old Crabb defeated a pair of European teams on Saturday to book their places in the gold medal match as they beat Austria’s Martin Ermacora/Moritz Pristauz 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) in the semifinals and downed Walkenhorst and Winter 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) in the semifinal.
“This is such a special moment for us,” Crabb reacted. “We had two chances to win a bronze in big tournaments before and we didn’t make it. We’re guaranteed at least a silver here and we’re obviously very happy about it, but we’re definitely not satisfied, we’re going for the gold.”
If the Americans are going for their first international medal together, the Dutch have already won 18 – six gold, silver and six bronze -, including a gold at the 2013 World Championships, their third season as partners, and a bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Meeuwsen and Brouwer are undefeated in Chetumal
The veterans, who have shared the courts in 92 international tournaments, continue undefeated on Mexican soil as they secured two more victories on Saturday – a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 15-11) quarterfinal triumph over Austrians Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller and a 2-0 (21-15, 21-13) semifinal win against Bourne and Crabb that prevented the first meeting between siblings in a World Tour gold medal match from happening.
“I’m very happy about the way we played tonight”, Brouwer commented. “We had a tough match with the Austrians earlier, but after that our coaches set up a great game plan for us and it worked pretty well, it felt like Rob had magnets on his hands, he was blocking everything. It’s been a long and difficult season and it feels good to end it playing for a gold medal.”
The American and Dutch pairs have crossed paths in the World Tour just once before, in a pool play match at the Vienna Major, in August, when Brouwer and Meeuwsen prevailed in straight sets.