STAVANGER, NORWAY, July 2, 2006 - Brazilians captured all the medals this weekend as the men from the South American country complete the sweep by finishing one-two-three here Sunday afternoon in the US$580,000 ConocoPhillips Grand Slam before an over-flowing Vagen Harbour centre court crowd with perfect weather conditions.
After the Brazilian women secured all three podium spots Saturday, reigning Olympic champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos completed the men’s “tri-fecta” by defeating 2005 SWATCH-FIVB World champions Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes 21-19 and 23-21 in the 51-minute finale.
Before the final match, fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Harley Marques captured the bronze medal for Brazil by defeating 13th-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina 21-9 and 21-19. It was the first-time since the Canadian stop in Montreal last August that Brazilians captured all six medals in the same double gender event.
The gold medal victory was Emanuel and Ricardo’s fourth-straight ConocoPhillips Grand Slam title as the Brazilians have dropped only one match in 26 Vagen Harbour starts with Sunday’s two wins giving the legendary Beach Volleyball pair 24-straight victory since losing on the dock-side courts to Sweden’s Bjorn Berg and Simon Dahl in a 2003 pool play meeting.
“We love it here,” said Emanuel after his 58th FIVB gold medal and 22nd international title with Ricardo. “All the players on the SWATCH tour love playing here because the fans are great. I honoured those fans today with the Norwegian flag on by shorts.”
Sunday’s title win was the sixth in eight meetings against Marcio Araujo and Fabio, who have now dropped four gold medal matches to their Brazilian rivals. The two teams played last week in the Alps where Emanuel and Ricardo defeated Marcio Araujo and Fabio 21-17 and 21-19 in the Swiss grand slam finale.
Emanuel and Ricardo used their gold medal finish this week to become the men’s all-time leader in team earnings as the pair has now combined to earn $1,022,330 for 47 FIVB events with a 22-6 gold medal mark along with 35 podium placements and 38 “final four” finishes.
“I am very lucky to have such a great partner,” said the 33-year old Emanuel, who was selected as the SWATCH most outstanding player for the eighth annual ConocoPhillips Grand Slam. “We have great chemistry together and are able to work through the rough times.”
While Emanuel was collecting his seventh Vagen Harbour gold medal in eight appearances after winning with different partners in 1999 (Jose Loiola) and 2001-2002 (Tande Ramos), Ricardo was winning his fifth “Viking sword” after captured the 2000 title with Ze Marco de Melo. Sunday gold medal was also Ricardo’s 38th international title.
With three gold medals in six SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events this season, Emanuel and Ricardo shared the $42,300 first-place prize. Marcio Araujo and Fabio split $28,300 for second place. Benjamin and Harley, who dropped the 2005 ConocoPhillips Grand Slam title match to Emanuel and Ricardo, shared $22,100 for third-place.
The second of seven-straight double gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the ConocoPhillips Grand Slam women’s podium featured Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca, Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede and Leila Barros/Ana Paula Connelly. Juliana and Larissa defeated Adriana and Shelda 21-18 and 21-17 for the Vagen Harbour gold medal Saturday.
The SWATCH-FIVB World Tour continues next week in Marseille, France, before traveling to North America for a stop in Montreal (July 12-16). The international circuit returns to Europe for a July 18-23 event in St. Petersburg followed by the last two grand slam tournaments in Paris (July 25-30) and Klagenfurt, Austria (August 1-6).