|BERLIN, GERMANY, June 26, 2004 - In scoring a 21-14 and 21-16 win in 44 minutes over ninth-seeded Suzanne Lahme and Danja Müsch here Saturday morning, it was "business as usual" for Brazil's Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede as they advanced to their 53rd SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal match.
The winningest team for either men or women with 30 international gold medals in 85 FIVB events, the second-seeded Adriana and Shelda will play either third-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs of the United States or 12th-seeded Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Tamara Larrea Peraza of Cuba for the Smart Grand Slam title. The Berlin winners will share the $43,000 first-place prize.
The Saturday morning win was also the fifth-straight for Adriana and Shelda over the Germans. Since the start of the 2002 season, 2002, Adriana and Shelda have compiled a 149-29 match mark, including 32-6 this season.
When asked about pacing themselves in a match, Adriana noted that she and Shelda "will never concede a point. We don't think that way. We work to improve with every serve, set, match and tournament. Since we are not a very physical team due to our size, it's important to make sure that our opponents know we never give up on a play."
Adriana and Shelda will be looking for their second title this season after winning June's first event in Japan. The Brazilians, who are the only women's team to play in all six SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final fours" this season this season, also have two silver (Brazil and Switzerland) and two bronze (Greece and China) medals to their credit in 2004.
The second of five-straight mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the Smart Grand Slam concludes Sunday with the men's semi-finals and medal match. The international circuit continues the next three weeks with additional mixed gender events in Norway, Mallorca and France.