Women's competition, Rio de Janeiro
From 20 September To 25 September 2004

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Banco do Brasil Women's Final Features Brazil Olympians
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 24, 2004 - It will be a rematch of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games here Saturday when Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede play Brazilian rivals Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires in the finals of the US$360,000 Banco do Brasil Women's Open.

Both teams won semi-final matches on the Copacabana Beach sand Friday afternoon with the top-seeded Adriana and Shelda posting a 21-14 and 21-17 win over 29th-seeded Mônica Paludo and Angela Vieira in 41 minutes to open the all-Brazilian "final four."

The third-seeded Ana Paula and Pires rallied from a first-set defeat to score a 16-21, 21-13 and 15-13 win over second-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca in 53 minutes.

The gold medal match will be the seventh international meeting between the two Brazilian Olympic teams as Adriana and Shelda won the last match in Athens where they eliminated Ana Paula and Pires 15-21, 21-14 and 15-13 in 59 minutes.

"It will make for good television," said Ana Paula after the match Friday as she and Pires will be playing for their first SWATCH-FIVB World Tour title this season after competing for international gold medals eight times last season where they won four times.

"The bad result in the Olympic Games motivates me," Pires said to the media Thursday after winning two matches. "If I had won the gold or the silver medal in Athens, I might have ended my career. I would have conquered everything. However, I do not want to stop playing after a bad result in the Olympics."

Adriana and Shelda, the winningest team in SWATCH-FIVB World Tour history, will be seeking their 33rd international gold medal Saturday. The two-time Olympic silver medallists won their 11th-straight SWATCH-FIVB World by defeating Mônica Paludo and Vieira.

Competing in their 89th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event, Adriana and Shelda will be appearing in their 57th international gold medal match. The Brazilians have captured titles in Japan, Germany and earlier this month in Milan, Italy, where they defeated Shelda's younger sister (Shaylyn) and Renata Ribeiro in the finals.

In between the women's medal matches Saturday morning in the Banco do Brasil Open, the men's semi-final confrontations will be played. Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil play Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany in the first match followed by the All-Switzerland match between Patrick Heuscher/Stefan Kobel against Sascha Heyer/Markus Egger. The men's medal matches will be played Sunday to conclude the Copacabana Beach action.