After playing three sets, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers won the men's beach volleyball tournament title at the Beijing Olympics on Friday.
Philip Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States celebrate after the beach volleyball gold medal match at the Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 22, 2008. [Gaesang Dawa/Xinhua]
The US duo didn't play well in the preliminary round, losing to a relatively unknown Latvian pair in the first preliminary match. But as matches went on, the two have been performing better and better.
Dalhausser said the setback in the preliminary round was a good "gift" for them as they could draw a lesson from the loss and did a better job later. "It was a gift and then we left things go on for us," Dalhausser said on his feelings about experiencing the first setback but finishing first finally.
The two have strong will to win. The will can be easily felt when they are in difficult situations.
In several matches prior to the final, the U.S. duo were forced into passive position. But Rogers, nicknamed "the Professer"and Dalhausser, nicknamed "the Thin Beast", appeared psychologically undisturbed.
They did their things and in a few minutes, things turned around and they leveled the scoreboard and won the match finally. "We're relaxed, we don't stress, we just do our things," said Rogers.
"We hate to lose and maybe even more so than anyone else," said Rogers, who is nicknamed "The Professor" for his extensive experience on the beach.
"We got off to a slow start, but once we got it through, we got it going,"said Dalhausser, whose efficiency at the net is always a problem for almost all players in the world.
The two said their partnership was perfect.
"We're not just great on the court, we're great off the court. In the first set (of the final) we came back after being down 6-1. That's a testament to the way he is, and the way I am," said Dalhausser.
"We compliment each other well. I like to describe myself as quietly intense and I would describe him in a similar manner," Rogers said.
Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, the 2007 world champions and now the Olympics gold medalists, had been widely considered to be gold favorites at the Beijing Games. But Dalhausser said he didn't want to be considered gold favorites.
"We're confident but we hate to say we're favourites. In my opinion Ricardo and Emanuel (of Brazil, Athens Games champions) are the favorites," said Dalhausser. "But being considered favourite is pretty cool," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2008)