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  Shanghai  2006   Women's Open
24.05.2006 -  28.05.2006

PRESS RELEASES

 
Host China Matches Brazilian Effort in Women’s China Shanghai Jinshan Open
 

Shanghai, China, May 26, 2006 - Host China joined Beach Volleyball power Brazil here Friday in advancing three women’s teams each to the final rounds of the US$400,000 China Shanghai Jinshan Open.

 

Joining the Brazilians and the Chinese in the “elite eight” of the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event are fifth-seeded Vassiliki Arvaniti/Vasso Karadassiou of Greece and 10th-seeded Natalie Cook/Nicole Sanderson of Australia.  Both tandems will start play Saturday in the elimination bracket with a possible meeting in a semi-final-qualifying match later in the day.

 

Friday’s top teams were top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca of Brazil and third-seeded Tian Jia/Wang Jie of China as both tandems won two matches each to remain unbeaten in the second SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event of the season to advance to Saturday afternoon’s semi-finals.

 

The advancement of two other Chinese teams against the top women’s Beach Volleyball players in the world was “good news” as the country prepares for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.  Also in the competition for China are ninth-seeded Zhang Ying/Zuo Man and 25th-seeded Chen Xue/Xi Zhang.

 

Fourth-seeded Renata Ribeiro and Talita Antunes of Brazil will play Chen Xue and Xi Zhang in an opening elimination match Saturday with the winner challenging second-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil, who are making their seventh appearance in a SWATCH event in China since 1998.

 

Adriana and Shelda, who placed second in the 2005 China Shanghai Jinshan Open after losing to Juliana and Larissa in the finals, dropped into the elimination after losing 21-19 and 25-23 to Tian Jia and Wang Jie.  Adriana and Shelda have won three gold medals in China with a second, a third and a fourth to their credit with #144,300 in earnings.

 

Arvaniti and Karadassiou dropped a 21-14 and 21-14 decision to Juliana and Larissa in their final match Saturday to fall into the elimination bracket where they will play either Cook/Sanderson or Zhang Ying/Zuo Man for a “final four” spot opposite Tian Jia and Wang Jie.

 

“This is exciting to have three teams from our country still in contention for a medal this week,” said Tian Jia.  “We played very well today in winning our two matches against teams from Brazilian.  We look forward to tomorrow’s action, and hopefully, we can play Zhang Ying and Zuo Man in the semi-finals.”

 

Juliana and Larissa will be seeking their second-straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal this season after upsetting reigning Olympic and World champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the United States two weeks ago in the finals at Modena, Italy.

 

“The Chinese teams have really improved since the end of last season,” said Juliana.  “We are playing well, but we can still play better.  We look forward to tomorrow, but the key now is to get some rest.  Our goal is to repeat our gold medal performance here last year and validate our win two weeks ago in Italy.

 

Tian Jia and Wang Jie claimed the bronze medal in the women’s 2006 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season opener in Italy.  It was their first international event together as the Chinese’s only defeats in Modena were to the Brazilian and American finalists.

 

The China Shanghai Jinshan Open marks the ninth-straight year that China has hosted a women’s SWATCH stop.  The 2006 event also features men’s play where Main Draw competition continues through Saturday where an All-Brazilian finale pits second-seeded Marcio Araujo/Fabio Magalhaes against fifth-seeded Pedro Cunha/Franco Neto.  The SWATCH tour splits next week with the women in Athens and the men in Croatia.

  
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