Walsh Jennings, Sweat compete for medal

Walsh Jennings, Sweat; Bourne, Crabb to Vie For Medals in Jinjiang Four-Star

Tri Bourne-Trevor Crabb-p1440

Photo credit: FIVB

When Kerri Walsh Jennings said, a little more than two weeks ago, that her and partner Brooke Sweat were aiming to be “American killers,” she did mean it was the utmost respect. But she did mean it in the sense that, in order to make it to the Tokyo Olympics, they would have to beat out their fellow countrywomen to climb the rankings.

Now, with a quarterfinal win over Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil in the Jinjiang four-star, they’ve won their past five matches over Americans — four in country quotas to make main draw, one in main draw. On Sunday in Jinjiang and Saturday evening in the States, they’ll be the last Americans standing, matching up with Brazil’s Agatha and Duda in the semifinals, with the winner to play the victor of Brazil’s Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Silva and Australia’s Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy for gold.

A medal would, obviously, be the desired result, especially that of the golden variety, though a significant win has already been achieved in that Walsh Jennings and Sweat, again, out-finished every other American team. A similar feat has been accomplished on the men’s end, as Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb swept their way past Australia, Brazil and Russia to earn a spot in the semifinals, where they fell to Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum.

They’ll compete for bronze against Brazil’s Andre Loyola and George Wanderley, though, like Walsh Jennings and Sweat, they’ve outpaced the other Americans in the field in Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena (5th), Ryan Doherty and John Hyden (9th), and Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger (17th).