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

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Lake Wörthersee Beach Volleyball Fans Await 57th Brazil-USA Women's Gold Medal Tilt
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 31, 2004 - The stage is set for another women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal match between the Brazil and the United States as Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder survived a hard-fought All-American semi-final match here Saturday to advance to the finals.

With their 22-20 and 21-19 win in 45 minutes over fifth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan, the third-seeded Walsh and Wacholder will now challenge top-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil in the women's final of the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam Saturday afternoon.

Competing in their first international event since winning the Berlin Grand Slam June 26, Adriana and Shelda scored a 21-15 and 21-19 win in 46 minutes over the second-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs.

The gold medal match will be the 57th between the two countries since the start of the women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour in August 1992. The United States has won 31 of the previous 56 matches. Walsh, Adriana and Shelda were involved in the finals earlier this season in Brazil and Switzerland.

Walsh played in the previous two 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour finals against the Brazilians with Misty May, who is sidelined with a lingering abdominal strain. Wacholder has replaced May the past three international events in Norway, France and now Austria. Walsh and Wacholder placed third in Stavanger and defeated Davis and Johnson Jordan for the Maseille gold medal two weeks ago.

"I think we'll match up pretty good against Adriana and Shelda," said Walsh after she advanced to her third-straight Lake Wörthersee final. "The key is controlling the tempo and not allowing the Brazilians to get an early lead. They are very steady. We will be trying a few things to confuse them. However, they have been playing together for so long that they make adjustments pretty quick."

Walsh and May won the last two A1 Grand Slam titles by defeating Adriana and Shelda for the 2002 title and Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires for last year's gold medal. Adriana and Shelda will be playing in their third Klagenfurt final after winning the 2001 FIVB World Championships on the Lake Wörthersee centre court.

The gold medal match will also be the 54th for Adriana and Shelda on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour as the pair has won a record 31 international titles together, including two crowns this season in Japan and Germany. With $27,000 guaranteed for reaching the A1 Grand Slam final, Adriana and Shelda have compiled a record $1,748,215 together on the FIVB circuit.

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.

Saturday's women's gold medal winners will share 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.