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

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Adriana & Shelda Earn 57th SWATCH-FIVB Gold Medal Match Appearance
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 24, 2004 - Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede, the winningest team in SWATCH-FIVB World Tour history, moved one match closer to their 33rd international gold medal here Friday afternoon with an All-Brazilian semi-final win over Mônica Paludo and Angela Vieira in the US$360,000 Banco do Brasil Women's Open.

The two-time Olympic silver medallists, the top-seeded Adriana and Shelda will play the winner of the match between second-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca and third-seeded Ana Paula Connelly/Sandra Pires.

With their 11th-straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour win and 55th in 63 matches this season, Adriana and Shelda advanced to Saturday morning's gold medal match with a 21-14 and 21-17 win over the 29th-seeded Mônica Paludo/Angela Vieira in 41 minutes.

Mônica Paludo and Vieira, who had posted six-straight elimination bracket wins after losing to Shaylyn Bede and Renata Ribeiro in Wednesday's opening round, are playing in only their second international event together after placing 57th in the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season opener in Fortaleza, Brazil.

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.

"I think the length of our partnership contributes to each of our wins," Adriana noted. "We have been playing together internationally since November 1995, so we know each other's game. We play hard all the time and don't give up many easy points. I think our experience together is our biggest asset entering every match."

In addition to 32 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour titles, Adriana and Shelda have combined to win over US$1.75-million. After not winning a title in 2003, Adriana and Shelda regained their gold medal ways this season as they clinched the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour points title for the sixth-time in the past eight seasons.

The effort by the Brazilian women in the Banco do Brasil Open has also been one for the record books as six of their seven entries from the South American country fill six spots in the rankings along with a ninth-place finish by Maria Rufino Salgado and Carolina Solberg Salgado.

The women's medal matches in the Banco do Brasil Open will be played Saturday amid two men's semi-final confrontations. The men's medal matches will be played Sunday to conclude the Copacabana Beach action.