Kerri_WalshNovember 7 - Beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh (pictured) notched up an all-time record 39 gold medals in the SWATCH FIVB World Tour when she clinched victory with partner Nicole Branagh in the $190,000 (£119,000) Phuket Thailand Open.

Walsh - who had been tied on 38 gold medals with her long-time partner Misty May-Treanor since 2008 - and Branagh overcame Marta Menegatti and Valeria Rosso of Italy, 21-23, 21-14, 15-11.

Carolina and Maria Clara Salgado of Brazil won the bronze medal match by defeating the Netherlands' Sanne Keizer and Marlene Van Iersel, 21-17, 21-14.

Walsh, who missed the entire 2009 season and all but two events this year after giving birth to boys in May 2009 and 2010, said: "It feels like a new world to me because all that I have accomplished is so far behind me.

"This win is so special as it's my first as a mother of two."

The fourth-seeded Americans became just the fourth women's team to win a SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal after winning five elimination matches.

Italy's Rosso said: "We made it this far due to our service game, but today we weren't serving very well.

"I feel like we both grew up a lot here."

In the five-year history of events in Phuket, the Americans have now won the last four titles, with Walsh also winning with May-Treanor in 2007 and Jen Kessy and April Ross claiming the titles in 2008 and 2009.