Women's competition, Klagenfurt
From 28 July To 31 July 2004

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Month's Rest Doesn't Hinder Brazil's Adriana & Shelda
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 31, 2004 - A month's break from the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour schedule has not slowed Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede as the top-seeded Brazil's advanced to the gold medal match in the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam here Saturday morning with a two-set win over Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs of the United States.

Competing in their first international event since winning the Berlin Grand Slam June 26, Adriana and Shelda scored a 21-15 and 21-18 win in 46 minutes over the second-seeded McPeak and Youngs. The match was the 13th between the two teams with the Brazilians leading 8-5, including four wins in five meetings this season.

With the win, the Brazilians will now play another American team in the finals as third-seeded Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder face fifth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan in Saturday's second semi-final match. The gold medal match will be the 54th for Adriana and Shelda, who have won 31 international titles, including two this season in Japan and Germany.

"I think the difference in the match was Shelda's defense and my blocking," Adriana noted after posted their fifth semi-final win this season. "It wasn't that I was presenting a huge block, but my play at the net forced the Americans to lob the ball to give Shelda enough time to make the play behind me.

Adriana also added that she and Shelda "changed some of our tactics in the middle of the match while taking advantage of their mistakes. There is not much difference in either team. The key is consistent play and eliminating mistakes. We have played them a lot, so both teams knows each other's game play pretty well."

With this being the fourth women's A1 Grand Slam, Adriana and Shelda will be playing in their third gold medal match on the Lake Wörthersee centre court. The Brazilians won the 2001 when the FIVB was staging its World Championships. The pair last the 2002 title match to Walsh and Misty May and placed third last season.

The Brazilian win also prevented the United States women from capturing all three podium spots. The American have now advanced three teams to a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour semi-finals four times this season. Led by McPeak and Youngs' gold medal win in Norway, the United States claimed all three medals in Stavanger.

Adriana and Shelda and the winner of Saturday's second semi-final match will play for the $40,500 first-place prize in the 10th of 12 women's events on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The women complete the season with Beach Volleyball events in September at Milan, Italy and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.