Adelaide, Australia, March 30, 2008 - Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca remained "perfect" in 2008 as the young Brazilian Beach Volleyball players captured the season opening event on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour women's calendar by defeating compatriots Talita Antunes and Renata Ribeiro in the finals of the US$350,000 Adelaide Australia Open on Glenelg Beach.
The top-seeded Juliana and Larissa traveled to the South Australian capital with a "perfect" 20-0 match record from the Brazilian domestic tour and four titles and will leave the only island/nation continent on the planet with a SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal and a 6-0 mark.
In defeating the fifth-seeded Talita and Renata 21-13, 18-21 and 15-12 in 57 minutes, Juliana and Larissa shared the $28,000 first-place by winning their 20th SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal to rank third on the all-time women's international list. Brazilians Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede and Americans Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh are currently tied atop the list with 31 titles each.
"We had a lot of fun out their today," said the 24-year old Juliana as she and Larissa defeated Renata and Talita for the second-time this week in the double-elimination Adelaide Australia Open. "It helped that Renata was not at her physical best due to an ankle (right) sprain. The first set was pretty easy, but we had to step it up after losing the second set. Getting out to a 5-0 lead in the deciding set really helped."
On the SWATCH FIVB World Tour, Juliana and Larissa have now won 21 of 24 matches against Talita and Renata with four wins in five gold medal matches meetings with their Brazilian rivals. Sunday's finale marked the 35th All-Brazilian women's gold medal affair on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour since the start of the circuit in 1992. Also, Juliana was named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the event.
Talita and Renata, who split $19,500 for their second-place finish, now have a 4-5 record in SWATCH FIVB World Tour finales. Juliana and Larissa, who are now 20-13 in FIVB gold medal matches, are the No. 1-ranked team on the SWATCH standings after claiming their third season FIVB point's title last year by winning five events and placing third in the 2007 SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Switzerland.
In the bronze medal match, Brazil earned a podium sweep for the 16th-time in SWATCH FIVB World Tour history as 11th-seeded Shelda and Ana Paula Connelly defeated fourth-seeded Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs 21-19 and 21-13 in 39 minutes. Shelda and Ana Paula shared $14,000 for the bronze medal while the Americans left Australia with $10,500 for fourth-place.
The first of 16 double gender SWATCH events this season, the Adelaide Australia Open men’s finale saw fourth-seeded Harley Marques and Pedro Salgado of Brazil score a 23-21 and 21-12 victory over seventh-seeded Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu, the first male tandem from China to compete in a FIVB Beach Volleyball gold medal match.
The SWATCH FIVB World Tour resumes in April in China for another double gender event in Shanghai (April 28-May 4). Before heading to Europe in June, the women's SWATCH tour stays in Asia for events in Korea (Seoul, May 13-18) and Japan (Osaka, May 20-25) before rejoining the men in late May in Barcelona, Spain (May 26-June 1).