Men's China Open 2004
Lianyungang, May 19-23

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Cunha & Para Net Men's China Open Bronze Medal
LIANYUNGANG, China, May 23, 2004 - Brazilian qualifiers Pedro Cunha and Rogerio Para beat tenth seeds Todd Rogers and Sean Scott of the United States twice in two days to capture the bronze medal at the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Men's China Open here on Sunday.

Cunha and Para, who came from one down to defeat Rogers and Scott 19-21, 27-25 and 22-20 in Saturday's fourth round of the winner's bracket, enjoyed a more comfortable win in the first medal match before a capacity crowd of 3,700.

The 22nd-seeds started strongly as they raced to an 8-1 lead and went on to take the first set 21-10. In the second set, they ran off four points in a row from a 17-17 draw to secure their best finish together.

"I am so happy to win the third place," said Para. "It's just our second FIVB event, I think we are on the right way."

Despite the bronze medal finish, Cunha and Para still have to start from the Qualification Tournament next week in the Serbia and Montenegro Open set for Budva.

"This tournament is over, we have to forget about the bronze medal," Para said. "We have only two days to take a rest before the next stop."

The Brazilian qualifiers scored six straight wins, including two in the Qualification Tournament, before losing to compatriots and top seeds Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego in the semi-finals.

Playing in their second Swatch-FIVB World Tour event together, the team of Cunha and Para represents the "young and old" of Brazilian Beach Volleyball. Para is playing his 11th-season on the international tour with eight gold medal finishes while the 21-year-old Cunha, who won the men's FIVB Beach Volleyball U-21 World Championship last August in France with Pedro Solberg Salgado, is playing his third FIVB event.

Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego of Brazil will play 12th-seeded Spaniards Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera in the gold medal match later on Sunday.

The world No. 1 tandem has lost only one of their seven FIVB gold medal finals since forming their partnership at the end of the 2002 season.