Porec, Croatia, June 7 - As temperatures skyrocketed on the sands of the Poreč Major, a Gold Medal showdown blasted off between reigning FIVB Beach Volleyball World Champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands and Canadian chargers Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter. On the line: not only the winner's share of the tournament's Olympic qualifying points and of the $800,000USD in prize money, but the honor of winning history's first Swatch Major Series tournament.
Center Court was fully packed to capacity for the first men's gold medal match ever to take place between the Netherlands and Canada on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The World Champions established their dominance early, using their trademark power beach volleyball to deliver a 21-15 win of the first set. But the scrappy Binstock and Schachter, who had eliminated the number two seed Brazilian legends Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego in Saturday's Quarter Finals, and bested the Dutch team of Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst in the Semis – wouldn't go down without a fight. The Canadians made some desperately fierce saves before Brouwer and Meeuwsen ultimately blocked their shot at gold medal glory by winning the second set 21-13.