Women's competition, Osaka
From 2 June To 6 June 2004

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Switzerland Pair Nets First Podium Finish
OSAKA, JAPAN, June 6, 2004 - Third-seeded Nicole Schnyder-Benoit and Simone Kuhn earned their first podium finish on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour as Switzerland's top women's team scored a 21-13 and 21-14 win over 21st-seeded Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri of Greece here Sunday afternoon.

Playing in only their second "final four" in 33 SWATCH, FIVB World Tour events together, Schnyder-Benoit and Kuhn split $14,000 for their bronze medal finish while the Greeks left Tannowa Beach sharing $11,000 for fourth-place.

"For us, winning this bronze medal is the highlight of our beach volleyball careers," said the 23-year old Kuhn. "This gives us a lot of confidence heading into next week's European Championships in Germany. We played very consistently against the Greeks as compared to our first match today against Shelda and Adriana."

The top-seeded Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar of Brazil defeated Schnyder-Benoit and Kuhn 21-13 and 21-11 in Sunday's first semi-final match. The Greeks dropped a 14-21, 22-20 and 15-9 decision to second-seeded Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson of Australia in the second semi-final match.

The bronze medal win in 36 minutes was also Schnyder-Benoit and Kuhn's fifth-straight win over Karadassiou and Sfyri since the start of the 2002 season. The two teams played earlier this season in Brazil where the Swiss won the match 21-15 and 21-14.

Sunday's winners will share the $27,000 first-place prize in the $180,000 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event. The silver medallists share $18,000 for finishing second in the fourth event of the season.