China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi were left to nurse keen disappointment after losing out in the women’s beach volleyball bronze medal match despite having been only two points from victory.
Bidding to defend the bronze medal they won in Beijing four years ago, Xue and Zhang stormed into an early lead by comfortably winning the first set 21-11 against Brazil’s Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca.
China went 19-16 up in the second set, taking them to within two points of the podium, only for the Brazilians to battle back and win the set 21-19 before prevailing 15-12 in the decider at London’s Horse Guards Parade.
“In the second set we always had a two-point advantage, but we lost it,” said a disappointed Xue.
“The third set was very disappointing, but we have to take it. We lost the second set because we could not come back at the right points.
“It’s something that can always happen in beach volleyball. One point can change the entire match. We could not find the right points when it mattered.”
Despite the duo finishing one place lower than they did in Beijing, Xue believes she and Zhang have made progress since their bronze-medal success at the 2008 Games.