Women's competition, Mallorca
From 6 July To 10 July 2004

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First Germany vs. Brazil Women's Gold Medal Match Since 1997
SANTA PONSA, MALLORCA, July 10, 2004 - It has been almost seven years since Germany faced Brazil in a women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal match, but one thing has remained the same is Danja Musch.

Musch, who will be playing in her third Beach Volleyball Olympics for Germany next month in Athens, has played in the three previous international finals against Brazil with two different partners. She hopes for a different outcome here Saturday afternoon in the US$360,000 Mallorca Open when she teams with Suzanne Lahme to face top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca.

The young Brazilians will be playing in their first-ever SWATCH-FIVB World Tour final after posting a convincing 21-17 and 21-12 win over 11th-seeded Eva Celbova and Sona Navokova of the Czech Republic in 38 minutes.

"We handled the hot and breezy weather conditions better today," said Felisberta Silva, who will celebrate her 22nd birthday July 22. "I think being from Brazil helped us with today's conditions. We were disappointed with our play yesterday, but excited about our performance in the semi-finals."

For the 22-year old Larissa, the win "helped continued the tradition of Brazilians playing in gold medal matches internationally. We have had so many great teams that have won gold medals. Hopefully, we can join that select group today, but playing the Germany will be tough. They are very experienced and are playing very well right now."

Larissa, Pan American Games bronze medallists last August, and Felisberta Silva are competing in their sixth SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event together as compared to the German's 21st. The Brazilians placed third in the 2004 season opener in Brazil this past March while Lahme and Musch were fourth in their last SWATCH-FIVB World Tour start together two weeks ago in Berlin.

The second-seeded Lahme and Musch advanced to the finals with a 21-18, 15-21 and 15-8 win in 53 minutes over fourth-seeded Summer Lochowicz and Kerri Pottharst of Australia. The Germans, who have a combined age of 68 compared to the Brazilians 43, will be playing in their second SWATCH-FIVB World Tour final after losing to a team from the Netherlands last season in China.

Brazil is 3-0 in women's gold medal matches against Germany. Musch played with Bete Buhler in the first final in August 1996 after the Olympic Games where they lost to Atlanta gold medallists Sandra Pires and Jackie Silva. With Maike Friedrichsen as her partner, Musch dropped title matches to Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede in the 1996 Jakarta event before losing to Monica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel in the 1997 Japan stop.

Saturday's gold medal winners will share the $27,000 first-place prize while the losers split $18,000. Prior to the finale, Lochowicz and Pottharst will face the Czech Republic teams for the bronze medal and the $14,000 third-place prize where the losers split $11,000 for fourth-place.