|STAVANGER, NORWAY, July 4, 2004 - For the sixth-straight year, a Beach Volleyball team from Brazil captured the men's ConocoPhillips Open gold medal as 26th-seeded Niklas Rademacher and David Klemperer of Germany could not overcome the experience of top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos.
In winning the 37-minute title match 21-15 and 21-17, Emanuel and Ricardo successfully defended their ConocoPhillips Open title to split the $27,000 first-place prize. For the young Germans, who were playing in their first-ever "final four" on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the silver medal netted them $18,000.
Sunday's win was also Emanuel and Ricardo's ninth in 20 international starts together. Emanuel, who has won the most SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medals (45), also won in Stavanger for the fifth-time in six Vaagen Harbour starts. Ricardo, a winner of 25 FIVB titles, also won the 2000 Stavanger stop with ZeMarco de Melo when Emanuel was finishing third with Jose Loiola.
"We are please to be atop the podium again in Norway," said Emanuel. "After not qualifying for the finals the past two weeks, it is good to win. Give the young Germans a lot of credit. They played well this week and we are glad we were not one of their upset victims."
The top-ranked team on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, Emanuel and Ricardo advanced to Vaagen Harbour centre court gold medal match by defeating third-seeded Franco Neto and Tande Ramos 22-20 and 21-18 Sunday morning in an All-Brazilian semi-final.
After defeating the seventh- second- and third-seeded teams the past two days, Rademacher and Klemperer advanced to the finals with a 12-21, 21-17 and 15-9 win over fellow countrymen and 12th-seeded Christoph Dieckmann and Andreas Scheuerpflug to guarantee Germany a spot in an international final for the third-straight week. Rademacher also won the SWATCH "fastest" serve award (96.2 km/h).
Emanuel and Ricardo, who defeated Argentina's Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde in the 2003 ConocoPhillips Open final, have now won nine of 11 international gold medal matches. Brazil has now won six-straight gold medal matches from Germany, including May's Serbia and Montenegro finale when Emanuel and Ricardo defeated Markus Dieckmann and Reckermann
Tande, who teamed with Emanuel to win the 2001 and 2002 ConocoPhillips Opens, and Franco won the bronze medal match with a 18-21, 21-18 and 15-10 win over Christoph Dieckmann and Scheuerpflug. The Brazilians shared $14,000 for third-place while the Germans split $11,000. Sunday's "final four" also marked the first-time that Germany had two teams in the semi-finals.
The third of five-straight mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the women's competition concluded Saturday with top-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeating Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan 21-17, 16-21 and 15-10 in the All-American final.
Part of the Olympic Beach Volleyball process, the ConocoPhillips Open was the third of four-straight events in Europe before the July 11 deadline to determine the 24 men's and 24 women's teams for the 2004 Athens Games in August. The process concludes next week in Mallorca.