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

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Pottharst Back for Summer
March 08, 2004 - Australian Beach Volleyball legend Kerri Pottharst will come out of retirement for the second time to attempt to qualify for her third Olympic Games when the Brazil Open in Fortaleza opens the women's Swatch-FIVB World Tour on Tuesday.

The Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medalist and bronze medalist in Atlanta 1996 has partnered fellow Australian Summer Lochowicz and entered qualifying for Fortaleza. According to Australian media their objectives are simple; play hard, enjoy the experience and qualify for the Athens Olympics in August. The first two sound easy enough but the last point, qualifying for Athens, is going to be the biggest challenge either of them will have faced in their respective careers.

Amazingly just six months ago both of these players were no longer playing on the international stage. Pottharst having retired in March of 2003 then returned for three events with Angela Clarke before unofficially retiring again in August following the Indonesian Open on the Swatch-FIVB World Tour. Summer's emerging career was dramatically halted when Team Australia Beach Volleyball (TABV) made the strategic decision midway through 2003 to pair Lochowicz's partner Kylie Gerlic with Angela Clarke for the remainder of the year. It left Lochowicz out in the cold and teetering on the edge of quitting the sport.

However Lochowicz, 25, saw a glimmer of hope in Pottharst, took a chance and called the 38-year-old. Two wins on their local Australian tour saw a wave of interest from the Australian media and fans alike regarding whether Pottharst and Lochowicz would, could or should make a run at the Athens Olympics. It all came down to the 2004 Beach Volleyball calendar. Qualifying rules dictate to be eligible for the Olympics a team must play a minimum of eight qualifying events together. So when the 2004 Swatch-FIVB World Tour calendar was released and showed the required eight events prior to the July 11th cutoff, it made the decision a little easier.

Of course with only the minimum quota of events available there is no room for error. Any injury, sickness or bad day at the office could end their dream. Is failure a possibility? Sure, but it's hard to see any sort of failure in combining Australia's most experienced Volleyball athlete with one of the nations' brightest young talents. No doubt if things don't go according to plan goals and objectives for the year will be re-assessed.

But what if they do make it? It would mean Sydney 2000 gold medalists Pottharst and Natalie Cook would be taking part in their third Olympic Beach Volleyball tournament, but this time on opposite sides of the net. For Summer it would be a dream come true.

The first step of the new campaign starts with qualifying for the Brazil Open.
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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