Women's Brazil Open 2004
Fortaleza, March 09 - 14

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For Team Australia, It Is Not Just Another Event
FORTALEZA, BRAZIL, March 9, 2004 - For Kerri Pottharst and her new Australian partner Summer Lochowicz, the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season opener on Praia de Iracema is not just another event, but a three-act tournament.

Pottharst, the Gold Medalist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with Natalie Cook, and Lochowiz must win another match in the US$180,000 Brazilian Open Qualification Tournament Wednesday to have a chance to participate in Act Two.

In Act Two, the newly-formed Australian team must secure a top nine finish to post a "quality" finish during the qualifying process for the 2004 Athens Olympic Game. Act Three is the head-to-head competition with fellow country women Angela Clark and Kylie Gerlic for the second spot for Australia in August's Olympic Games.

"It will not be easy," said Pottharst, who teamed with Lochowicz to eliminate 32nd-seeded Yadeizi Abreu and Alejandra Garcia of Venezuela 21-13 and 21-15. The seventh-seeded Pottharst and Lochowicz must defeat 25th-seeded Isabelle Forrer and Annik Skrivan of Switzerland Wednesday to advance to the 32-team Main Draw.

"Summer is developing into a very good player. She is very similar to Natalie, but just needs more experience. She is a very strong and has the potential to be a good defender to play behind my block. We have a difficult task ahead of us if we are going to qualify for Athens. We have no room for error and must qualify, place in the main draw top nine and stay ahead of Angela and Kylie at each event."

Unlike Pottharst and Lochowicz, Clarke and Gerlic have already posted three Olympic qualifying marks. Two of their three finishes were at Grand Slam events in Los Angeles and Rio de Janerio. "We have only one Grand Slam stop this year in Germany," Pottharst noted, "so our mission is even tougher. We can not be upset by lower seeded teams and we must upset a few of the bigger names on the beach. We know the pressure is on us to perform well at each event. Due to the experience factor, I am the teacher and Summer the student."

Cook and Nicole Sanderson are currently ranked as Australia's top team after placing among the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour top four teams last season. Due to recent knee surgery for Cook, who also won the Bronze Medal with Pottharst at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the pair will miss this week's event. They are expected to return to competition at May's Greece stop.

The 34-team Qualification Tournament concludes Wednesday when eight teams advance to the Main Draw. The 32-team double-elimination Main Draw starts Thursday with the final four teams advancing to Saturday's semi-final matches. The medal matches will be played Sunday where the Gold Medal team wins the $27,000 first-place prize.

The Olympic process began last June in Greece and concludes July 11 when the 24 teams are determined for the August 14-24 Games in Athens. After this week's event, competition on the women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour resumes May 19-23 in Rhodes, Greece followed by other qualifying events in China, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Norway and Canada.
Press releases
Date Press release
14-Mar-2004 USA's May & Walsh Net Brazilian Open Gold Beach Volleyball Medal
14-Mar-2004 May y Walsh de EE UU se llevan oro en Abierto de Brasil
14-Mar-2004 Larissa & Juliana Snare Brazilian Open Bronze Beach Volleyball Medal
14-Mar-2004 Larissa y Juliana ganan medalla de bronce en el Abierto Brasileño de Voleibol de Playa
13-Mar-2004 Brazil's Shelda & Adriana Face USA's May & Walsh For Brazilian Gold
13-Mar-2004 Brasileñas Shelda y Adriana enfrentarán a May y Walsh de EE UU por el oro del Abierto de Brasil
13-Mar-2004 USA's May & Walsh Advance To Gold Medal Match
12-Mar-2004 USA & China Tandems Seek SWATCH Medals Against Brazilian Teams
12-Mar-2004 Duplas de EE UU y China por medallas SWATCH ante equipos brasileños
12-Mar-2004 Brazil & USA Advance First Two Teams To Semi-finals
12-Mar-2004 Brazilians Upset China Tandem in Friday's Beach Volleyball Opener
11-Mar-2004 USA's Davis & Johnson Jordan Survive Thursday's Elimination Matches
11-Mar-2004 Davis y Johnson Jordan de EE UU sobreviven a eliminatoria del jueves
11-Mar-2004 Brazil & USA Teams Lead Thursday's Winners
11-Mar-2004 Brazil's Larissa & Felisberta Silva Notch Upset Beach Volleyball Win
10-Mar-2004 Eight Countries Earn Beach Volleyball Main Draw Berths
10-Mar-2004 Ocho países logran entrar al Cuadro Principal de Voleibol de Playa
09-Mar-2004 For Team Australia, It Is Not Just Another Event
09-Mar-2004 Brazilian, USA Teams Advance From Country Quota Playoffs
09-Mar-2004 34-team Qualifier Opens SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Stop in Fortaleza
09-Mar-2004 Clasificatorio de 34 equipos abre el Circuito Mundial SWATCH-FIVB en Fortaleza
08-Mar-2004 Pottharst Back for Summer
08-Mar-2004 Circuito Mundial Swatch-FIVB Pottharst está de vuelta
04-Mar-2004 Fortaleza kick starts countdown to the Olympics
04-Mar-2004 Circuito Mundial Swatch-FIVB Fortaleza inicia cuenta regresiva para Juegos Olímpicos

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