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

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Adriana & Shelda Return Home as SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Point's Champions
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 17, 2004 - The 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour for women ends here next week with Brazil's Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede returning home as the season's points champions for the sixth-time and with another Olympic Beach Volleyball silver medal to their credit.

The US$360,000 mixed gender event starts Monday with a two-day women's Qualification Tournament to determine the final eight teams for the Main Draw. The "money" rounds begin Wednesday with the semi-finals Friday and the medal matches Saturday (September 25). The winning team will share the $27,000 first-place prize.

The SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season points crown was the sixth for Adriana and Shelda after winning five-straight from 1997 through 2001 before losing the title in 2002 to Kerri Walsh and Misty May of the United States and in 2003 to Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires of Brazil.

The veteran Brazil team was the only tandem on the 2004 international circuit that finished on the podium for every event they entered during the season as Adriana and Shelda won three SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events in Japan, Germany and at the start of September in Milan, Italy.

The Milan title clinched the points title as Adriana and Shelda bested Shaylyn Bede and Renata Ribeiro in an All-Brazilian finale. The title in Italy was "tougher" than most for the Brazilian champions as Shelda was competing against her younger sister Shaylyn while Adriana played most of the match with a sprained right ankle."

"It won't be easy for Shelda to return home to face her parents," kidded Adriana after the match. "Shaylyn is the youngest of five in the family. According to Shelda, she is the spoiled sister that gets everything. Seriously, it was great for Shelda's family to have the sisters competing against each other."

As for Adriana, she played the final despite being limited with the ankle sprain. "I felt I owed it to Shelda and the fans to finish the match," Adriana added. "I was really hurting, but the match was very important for Shelda since she was competing against her sister. And, I did not what to disappoint the over-flowing crowd with a short gold medal match."

With the American Olympic medallist teams from Athens of Misty May/Kerri Walsh (gold) and Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs (bronze) missing the event due to their commitment to participate in a domestic event in Hawaii, the Copacabana beach event figures to be a "showcase" of the best of Brazilian volleyball.

Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca are the newest Brazilian sensations along with Shaylyn and Ribeiro. Felisberta Silva and Larissa won the Mallorca event earlier this season and are ranked fourth (2,280 points) on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour points list behind the American tandems of McPeak/Youngs (2,370) and Annett Davis/Jenny Johnson Jordan (2,340). A 13th or better finish in Rio will push Felisberta Silva and Larissa into the No. 2 spot behind Adriana and Shelda (3,030)

Ana Paula and Sandra Pires are also scheduled to compete as the dethroned SWATCH points champions have been hindered this season with injuries. Ana Paula struggled early with a hand injury this season while Pires was hampered by a calf problem that allowed the team to compete in only five events this season, including a fifth-place in the Athens Olympics where they were eliminated by Adriana and Shelda 15-21, 21-13 and 15-13.

The two-day men's Qualification Tournament starts Tuesday followed by the opening Main Draw rounds Thursday. The men's semi-finals will be Saturday followed by Sunday's medal matches. Like Adriana and Shelda, Olympic gold medallists Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos have also clinched the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season poin's title.