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Women's Brazil Open 2001  
Fortaleza, 30 Oct. - 4 Nov.
Last women’s event of the year gets underway in Fortaleza, Brazil

 

FORTALEZA

500 miles northwest of Recife is Fortaleza, the capital of the state of Ceará, on the eastern Brazilian coast.

It is a large and modern city where new architecture contrasts with beautiful beaches and tall coconut palms. 

On the beaches, visitors can see typical "jangadeiros" (fishermen who take to the seas in their rugged "Jangadas" (crude sailing rafts traditionally used for fishing in the region)). 

While jangadeiros daily stuggle against the wind and waves, on the shore, their wives patiently produce the delicate lace and embroidery for which Ceará's artisans are famous. Fortaleza is also well known for its artisan's open-air market and is the home town of great players such as Franco & Robert Lopes as well as Shelda who are giving full support to the forthcoming women's event.

 

Thirty-two teams from fourteen countries have arrived at Iracema Beach, Fortaleza for the last event of the 2002 FIVB World Tour, which kicks off on Tuesday 30 October and finishes on Sunday 4 November.

It will be the seventeenth World Tour event for Brazil and the sixth for Fortaleza as the host city. The city hosted the men’s World Tour four times from 1994 to 1997, and the women’s World Tour for the first time last year.

The event, as always in Brazil, is expected to attract huge crowd and a carnivalè atmosphere.

World Champions Shelda and Adriana Behar are expected to be the stars of Fortaleza and are looking forward to finishing their phenomenal season in front of a home crowd.

Going into the event with 3,642 points, 942 points clear of the second placed team, compatriots Sandra Pires and Tatiana Minello, Shelda/Behar are in the unassailable position of having already topped the 2001 World Tour rankings - for the fifth consecutive season.

With six tournament victories for the season, including their second consecutive World Championship title won in Klagenfurt, Austria, on 5 August, the 'dynamic duo', as the media has dubbed them, have bettered their performance of last season when they won four events and the Olympic silver medal.

Another highlight of the event will be FIVB Beach Volleyballer of the Decade and Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medallist, Jacqueline Silva, teaming up for the first time with Brazilian volleyball sensation, Ana Margarida Alvares "Ida". Having left the national team, Ida is attempting to make the transition from indoor to the sand, and couldn’t find a better partner and mentor than crowd favourite Silva.

The 36 year-old vetran of the national team has only played in one World Tour event, in Melbourne, Australia in 1997, where she finished seventeenth.

Brazil is also be represented by (not including possible qualifying round qualifiers), Goodwill Games gold medallists, Sandra Pires/Tatiana Minello, Adriana Bento/Cláudia, and Shaylin/Maria Clara.

The USA is represented by three teams McPeak/Walsh, Fontana/Youngs and Masakayan/Denecochea, with Austria, Canada, Mexico and Italy each represented by two teams. Bulgaria, Cuba, England, Greece, Hungary, Holland, Norway and Portugal each registered just one team.

The Main Draw, starting Thursday 1 November, will also include four other pairs that have qualified through the Qualifying tournament.