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  Warsaw  2006   Women's Open
31.08.2006 -  03.09.2006


Tian Jia & Wang Jie Net Second-Straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Gold Medal

Warsaw, Poland, September 3, 2006 - Tian Jia and Wang Jie validated their Austrian gold medal success at last month’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop in Klagenfurt by winning the US$200,000 GE Money Bank Warsaw Open here Sunday by defeating Xue Chen and Zhang Xi in the All-Chinese women’s final.

The 22-20 and 21-17 gold medal win in 37 minutes was the second for the top-seeded Tian Jia and Wang Jie over Xue Chen and Zhang Xi in the inaugural GE Money Bank Warsaw Open and the sixth this season.  To gain a spot in this week’s SWATCH semi-final, Tian Jia and Wang Jie posted a 21-15 and 25-23 victory over their Chinese rivals.

For Tian Jia, it marked the second-time in her Beach Volleyball career that she has been a part of a team that has captured back-to-back SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events.  Near the end of the 2003, Tian Jia and her Athens 2004 Olympic partner Wang Fei captured gold medals in Indonesia (Bali, August 24) and Italy (Milan, September 7).

"It was a great tournament and we played well in the final," said the 25-year old Tian Jia.  "We are happy that we managed to beat our Xue and Zhang to capture our second-straight gold medal on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.  We are glad that we were able to continue the momentum from our win in Austria early last month after taking three weeks off from international competition."

Sunday’s victory also avenged Wang Jie (21 years old) and Tian Jia’s only setback to the younger Chinese pair as the 17-year old Xue Chen and Zhang Xi (21) defeated their more experienced opponents May 28 for the gold medal in Shanghai.

Tian Jia and Wang Jie, who shared the $32,000 first-place prize, still maintain a “slim” chance for the 2006 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour points title.  With top-ranked Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca back home in Brazil resting, Tian Jian and Wang Jie have now competed in 11 SWATCH events for 5,340 points.

Juliana and Larissa, who have compiled 6,340 points for 10 events, must finish at least 17th in one of the four remaining women’s events to clinch their second-straight SWATCH season points title.  Tian Jia and Wang Jie’s only hope is to win the last four gold medals and hope that the Brazilians can’t place higher at 25th in any of the SWATCH stops in the Madeira Islands, Brazil, Mexico or Thailand.

For the season, Tian Jia and Wang Jie have posted a 50-18 match mark $200,600 in earnings.  The Chinese pair was competing in their seventh SWATCH “final four” this season with six podium placements.  Prior to their two gold medal performances, Tian Jia and Wang Jie had finished 17th in St. Petersburg and fifth in Paris.

Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, who split $22,000 for second-place, Sunday’s silver medal was their third in 11 starts this season with $157,200 in winnings.  In addition to their Shanghai title, Xue Chen and Zhang Xi finished second to Juliana and Larissa in the St. Petersburg finale.

In the bronze medal match, top-seeded Leila Barros and Ana Paula Connelly of Brazil avenged an earlier setback to Alexandra Shiryaeva and Natalya Uryadova by defeating the 20th-seeded Russians 21-15, 22-24 and 15-8 for the $16,000 third-place prize.  The Russians had defeated Leila and Ana Paula 21-17, 16-21 and 15-13 Friday afternoon in the winner’s bracket quarter-finals.

Gaining a “wild card” entry for the GE Money Bank Warsaw Open after winning last week’s European Championships, Shiryaeva and Uryadova shared $12,000 as the pair became the first Russian team to compete in a “final four” in the 15-year history of the women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event.

Following the GE Money Bank Warsaw Open, the first women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event held in Poland, the international women’s Beach Volleyball circuit continues September 13-17 in the Madeira Islands at Porto Santo.

More news...
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31.08.2006 Brazil, China & Norway Teams Lead Warsaw SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Event  
30.08.2006 FIVB Satellite Winners Gain Warsaw SWATCH Main Draw Berths  
28.08.2006 2006 Women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Resumes in Warsaw