Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brooke Sweat lose in beach volleyball qualifying round, will miss Tokyo Olympics

One of the more recognizable names on Team USA from the past few Summer Olympics will not be heading to the Tokyo Games this July. 

Three-time beach volleyball gold-medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and partner Brooke Sweat lost Wednesday in a qualifying match of the final qualifier tournament in Ostrava, Czech Republic, where they needed to finish third or better. 

For Walsh Jennings, 42, it could be the final chapter of a storied career she built alongside Misty May-Treanor; the duo won three consecutive gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012) on the sand. 

Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil passed Walsh Jennings and Sweat for the second U.S. spot in the 2020 Olympics. April Ross — Walsh Jennings' partner from the 2016 Rio Games, where the pair won bronze — and her teammate Alix Klineman are the top U.S. team and are considered medal contenders.  

Kerri Walsh Jennings (L) and Brooke Sweat of the United States react in the Womens Pool F match against Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami of Japan on day three of the FIVB Volleyball World Tour Tokyo, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Test Event, at Shiokaze Park on July 26, 2019. (Photo: Kiyoshi Ota, Getty Images)

Both Walsh Jennings and Sweat had been banged up. Walsh Jennings underwent a sixth right shoulder surgery recently and Sweat had knee surgery last spring. 

Walsh Jennings also came under fire during the pandemic for publicizing controversial stances on mask-wearing. 

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

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