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Patria Direct Prague Open | Men
  22/05/2012 - 27/05/2012

Brazil's Ricardo and Cunha claim fourth title

Brazil's Ricardo Santos (left) and Pedro Cunha claimed the gold medal in Prague
Prague, Czech Republic, May 27, 2012 – Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha claimed their fourth FIVB SWATCH World Tour title on Sunday at the Patria Direct Open in Prague. In an all-Brazilian final, and in front of 6000 passionate beach volleyball fans, they beat last year’s champions Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in three sets: 21-15 19-21 15-10.

Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser prevented an all-Brazilian podium defeating Pedro Solberg and Marcio Araujo in straight sets (21-13 21-19). The olympic champions now own Prague gold (2010), silver (2011) and bronze (2012).

Important win

After two disappointing 9th-place-finishes in Shanghai and Beijing Ricardo and Cunha are on their way up with their fourth gold medal in ten events together. The Brazilian team is still in the running for an olympic ticket. ‘‘This was a very important win for us towards qualifying for the Olympics. Yesterday we beat the Americans and now the number one team from Brazil. It gives us confidence and we also show every one we can do this‘‘, Cunha said.

For two times junior world champion Cunha London will be his first olympic experience, if they go. Ricardo went to three Olympic Games and won gold in Athens in 2004 with Emanuel. In the final at the Stvanice Stadium the two former partners met again. ‘‘Always a pleasure, I respect him a lot‘‘, Emanuel commented on that fact.

The first set (21-15) went to Ricardo and Cunha, with Emanuel having ups and downs receiving. In the second a beautiful one-hand-block by Alison at 15-15 got the reigning world champions their first lead. Ricardo and Cunha were even at 19-19 again, but Emanuel led his side into a tiebreak with two effective spikes.

The 39-years-old defender from Curitiba then served to a 3-0-lead but at 7-7 Cunha and Ricardo came ahead again with a smart shot down the line by Cunha. They pushed through and secured the gold at 15-10 in 55 minutes. It is their fourth success after Klagenfurt and The Hague last year and Myslowice just a few weeks ago.


Alison and Emanuel collected their fifth silver medal in 27 events, next to five gold and seven bronze medals. Emanuel was tired but proud. ‘‘We both played a lot of matches here this week in the contender’s bracket, but we reached the final in the end. It makes me proud that there were two Brazilian teams in the final. It shows what a great beach volleyball country we are.‘‘

In the bronze medal match strong serving Dalhausser, who scored three aces, kept the pressure on Marcio, which lead to an easy win (21-13 21-19) over the Brazilians. ‘‘Marcio did not have his best game today. I know from experience how hard it is sometimes to get motivated after you lose the semifinal‘‘, Swiss born Dalhausser said after they collected their 41st overall medal. Rogers celebrated his 100th World Tour event in Prague.

After a week off the FIVB SWATCH World Tour resumes on June 6 with the Grand Slam in Moscow. It is the last but one event that counts for the olympic ranking. The top 16 countries qualify for the Olympic Games in London, with a maximum of two countries per gender. Five more tickets are available at the Continental Cup final and two at the World Cup Olympic Qualification event. Host country Great Britain automatically gets one place.   
More press releases
28/05/2012 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour Season Update
27/05/2012 Brazil's Ricardo and Cunha claim fourth title
26/05/2012 All-Brazilian final in Prague
25/05/2012 USA and Brazil claim semifinal berth at Patria Direct Prague Open
24/05/2012 Rogers/Dalhausser ease through first day in Prague
23/05/2012 Spain’s Marcos/Garcia advance to Prague main draw
22/05/2012 Six teams emerge from country quota in Prague
17/05/2012 Rogers and Dalhausser return to Prague with mixed feelings