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

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Fortaleza kick starts countdown to the Olympics
Fortaleza, Brazil, March 04, 2004 - A mixture of mountainous sand dunes, palm trees and Atlantic Ocean breakers will greet more than 60 women's Beach Volleyball teams from 23 countries when they gather next week for the opening tournament of the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the US$180,000 Brazilian Open in Fortaleza, which starts on Tuesday.

In what is a crucial opening event to a season highlighted by the 2004 Olympic Games, Fortaleza (March 9-14) continues the Olympic qualifying process, which started last June in Greece and concludes July 11 when the 24 teams are determined for the August 14-24 Olympics in Athens.

With 13 of the 16 top-ranked women's teams from the 2003 season expected in competition, a two-day qualification tournament starts on Tuesday to determine the final eight entries in the 32-team main draw. Main Draw double elimination play will start Thursday, allowing teams to afford one defeat and still remain in the competition. Semifinals will be contested on Saturday followed by Sunday's medal matches where the gold medal team wins the $22,000 first-place prize.

Brazil's Ana Paula Connolly and Sandra Pires, the latter a two-time Olympic medalist, lead the entries having captured the 2003 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour points title after winning four of 10 events last season. But world champions Misty May, who captured the first women's FIVB event in Fortaleza in 2000 with Holly McPeak, and Kerri Walsh from the United States will start as joint favourites after netting five SWATCH-FIVB World Tour titles in eight starts last season, including their last four on the trot.

The most successful team on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour with 29 titles, Brazil's Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar return to where they claimed the 2001 Fortaleza title after defeating McPeak and Walsh in the final. Bede and Behar did not win an event last year for the first time since forming their partnership in 1995 but will still be one of the teams to beat.

The Fortaleza stop is the first of 12 on the women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. Competition resumes May 19-23 in Rhodes, Greece followed by other Olympic qualifying events in China, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Norway and Canada. The tour will then continue in France and Austria before moving to Italy and Brazil after the Olympic Games.

The men's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour takes in 15 events starting March 16-21 in Salvador, Brazil followed by an event in Cape Town, South Africa March 24-28. Other Olympic qualifying events for men will be in China, Serbia and Montenegro, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Germany, Norway and Canada before the men's tour continues in France, Poland and Austria and then after the Olympics in Spain and Brazil.
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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