Women's Olympic Games, Athens GREECE
From 14 August To 24 August 2004

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Brazil vs. USA for Women's Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medal
Athens, Greece, August 23, 2004 - The rankings were proven to be correct as the top two-seeded teams for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games won as expected here Monday as the teams of Misty May/Kerri Walsh of the United States and Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede of Brazil will play for the gold medal.

The top-seeded May and Walsh scored a 21-18 and 21-15 win in 41 minutes over fourth-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs in an All-American semi-final. It was the ninth international meeting between the two teams with May and Walsh holding a 7-2 edge.

Prior to the United States match, Adriana and Shelda helped erase the memory of their gold medal defeat at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games by scoring a 21-17 and 21-16 win over Cook and Nicole Sanderson in 42 minutes. The Brazilians lost to Cook and Kerri Pottharst in the Sydney finale.

The Australia-United States bronze medal match will open Tuesday's action at 7:30 p.m. followed by the gold medal match at 9 p.m. at the 10,000-seat Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre where a sold out crowd watched Monday action.

Both of the finalists will bring 6-0 Olympic match marks into the Tuesday final as the Americans lead the series between the two teams 13-7. May and Walsh have won the six-straight matches after losing to the Brazilians in the the bronze medal match in Berlin last season.

"This is what we have worked hard for the past four years," said Walsh about advancing to the gold medal meeting. "We have played Adriana and Shelda a lot over those four years. We have been successful against them lately, but it is not easy. They are very experience and know how to prepare for the big game. They have play for an Olympic gold before, so they will know how to handle the pressure."

For Adriana, the Sydney gold medal match "is in the past. We don't think about it anymore. Yes, it was disappointing, but it is over. Tomorrow is another day, another big match against another quality opponent. Whoever we play, we must be ready."

Tuesday's finale is also rematch of the 2003 FIVB World Championships in Rio de Janeiro last October where May and Walsh scored a 21-19 and 21-19 win over Adriana and Shelda, who captured the worlds in 1999 and 2001.

The two teams have meet three times this year with the Americans winning each time, including gold medals in Fortaleza (Brazil in March, 21-10 and 21-19) and in Gstaad (Switzerland in June, 26-28, 21-17 and 15-10).

The men's Olympic semi-finals were also were also played Monday with teams from Australia, Brazil, Spain and Switzerland competing for the Olympic gold. The men's medal matches will be played Wednesday evening.