|Termoli, Italy, September 7, 2004 - Will the third-time be the "charm" for Carolina Solberg Salgado as the 17-year old Brazilian competes in another FIVB World Championship for players under 18 years old starting here Wednesday on the Rio Vivo Beach.
The mixed gender U-18 Beach Volleyball event starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday with a Qualification Tournament where 11 women's tandems will be competing for the last four berths in the 24-team Main Draw. The semi-finals and medal matches will be played Sunday.
A fourth- and second-place finisher in the first-two U-18 FIVB events in Greece and Thailand, Solberg Salgado will compete again with Barbara Figueirado, who dropped last year's gold medal match in Thailand to Jana Kohler and Laura Ludwig of Germany 21-11 and 32-30.
Solberg Salgado, who placed fourth in the inaugural U-18 event in Greece with Isabel Grael, is the daughter of FIVB women's Beach Volleyball pioneer Isabel Salgado. "Mama" Isabel never finished lower than fifth in the first nine SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events (1992-95).
Also noted as the first partner for Shelda Bede, the two-time Brazilian Olympic silver medallist, Isabel Salgado won a SWATCH event in 1994 in Miami with Roseli Timm as the pair also posted three seconds, two thirds, two fourths and a fifth together.
Carolina's older brother Pedro is a three-time medallist in the FIVB junior Beach Volleyball events. Pedro Solberg Salgado won the 2002 U-18 title with Ian Borges as the pair placed second last year to Germany's Sebastian Fuchs and Thomas Kaczmarek. Pedro Solberg Salgado teamed with Pedro Cunha to capture the 2003 U-21 title in France.
Teams from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia and Venezuela are scheduled to compete in the qualifier. Wednesday's qualifying schedule will be determined after a Tuesday night technical meeting when the teams are required to finalize their registration.
Twenty (20) tandems have already been placed in the Main Draw that begins Thursday with round-robin play of six pools of four teams each. Like the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the top two teams from each pool will advance to the single-elimination Round of 16 bracket along with the four-best third-place finishers.
Italy has already placed three teams in the Main Draw, including Lisa Braggion/Alessia Golinelli, Laura Caracuta/Valeria Caracuta and Milady Bozzato/Enrica Merlo. Other countries with tandems in the Main Draw are Australia, Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
The first two FIVB U-18 World Championships were held in Xylokastro, Greece (2002) and Pattaya, Thailand (2003). Sanne Keizer and Arjanne Stevens of the Netherlands won the first U-18 women's title by defeating Claudia Lehmann and Friederike Romberg of Germany in the Greece finals.
Presented by SWATCH, the 2004 FIVB U-18 World Championships will be followed by next week's fourth annul U-21 finale on Porto Santo Island, Portugal's Medeira Archipelago. A gold medallist from the last two U-21 World Championships won SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event titles in 2004.
Spain's Pablo Herrera, the Athens Games silver medallist with Javier Bosma, won the 2002 U-21 title with Raul Mesa and a SWATCH stop this past May in China with Bosma. Cunha, who also won the 2001 U-21 title, won the June's FIVB World Tour event in Puerto Rico with Pará Ferreira.