|Porto Santo, Portugal, September 18, 2004 - Second-seeded Taiana Lima and Carolina Solberg Salgado and 19th-seeded Marion Castelli and Eva Hamzaoui of France survived three-set semi-final matches here Saturday to advance to the finals of the fourth annual FIVB World Championships for players under 21 years old.
Lima and Solberg Salgado scored a 13-21, 21-14 and 17-15 win over seventh-seeded Sarka Nakladalova and Veronika Opravilova of the Czech Republic in 53 minutes while the French scored a 14-21, 21-18 and 15-12 win in 59 minutes over 22nd-seeded Arjanne Stevens and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands.
Lima will be playing for her second U-21 title after winning the world championship in 2002 with Juliana Felisberta Silva. Solberg Salgado, whose has a brother (Pedro) competing in the men's U-21 quarter-finals Saturday, was third in last year's U-21 World finals with Maria Salgado Rufino in Saint Quay Portrieux, France. Solberg Salgado also placed second last week in the women's FIVB U-18 world Championships with Barbara Figueirado in Termoli, Italy.
Castelli and Hamzaoui have now posted sixth-straight wins in the competition, including an upset Saturday of third-seeded Sara Goller and Ilka Semmler of Germany 17-21, 21-19 and 15-8. The Germans had not lost a set in their previous four matches in the World Championships.
Netherlands' Van Iersel is hoping for a better bronze medal result this week after placing fourth with Margo Wiltens in Termoli. Stevens will be seeking her second FIVB junior title after winning the 2002 U-18 title with Sanne Keizer in Greece.
The mixed gender event ends Saturday afternoon for the women with the medal matches. The men are playing their quarter-finals Saturday afternoon to determine the "final four" teams for Sunday's semi-finals and medal matches.