Men's South Africa Open 2004
Cape Town, March 23-28

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Benjamin & Harley Net South Africa Open Bronze Medal
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, March 28, 2004 - Benjamin Insfran and Harley Marques completed their brief two-event partnership here Sunday by capturing the bronze medal in the US$180,000 South Africa Open to ensure the first men's Brazilian podium sweep at a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour since 2000.

The first of two medal matches Sunday at the Camp Bays centre court saw the third-seeded Benjamin and Harley score a 21-11 and 21-15 win in 41 minutes over 26th-seeded Robert Nowotny and Peter Gartmayer of Austria. The Austrians had to qualify for the 32-team Main Draw earlier this week and had defeated Benjamin and Harley Friday 21-11 and 21-17.

"We are disappointed with our finish," said Nowotny, "but we accomplished a lot this week for our partnership in chasing our dreams for an Olympic berth. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but at least we are in better shape by earning 252 points this week as compared to the 18 points last week in Brazil.

Benjamin played the first two events of the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour with Harley after his regular partner Marcio Araujo was sidelined due to an appendix operation. The second-ranked from Brazil on the world tour, Benjamin and Marcio Araujo are expected to return to competition for the next SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event May 19-23 in Lianyungang, China.

With Sunday's gold medal match an All-Brazilian affair as top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos playing 12th-seeded Tande Ramos and Franco Neto, the South American country captured all three podium placements in the last 28 "open" SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events.

Emanuel and Ricardo enter Sunday' action with a 25-match winning streak as the pair has captured the last three international events, including last week's season opener in Salvador where they defeated Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland in the finals.

The 2003 FIVB World Champions, Emanuel and Ricardo have now won 73 of the 86 FIVB matches they have played together with a perfect 6-0 mark in gold medal finals since forming their partnership at the end of the 2002 season.