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Paf Open | Women
  28/08/2012 - 2/09/2012

Brazil’s Larissa/Juliana lead the field in Aland

Larissa and Juliana lead the field going into Aland, having risen to the top of the leaderboard with their win in Stare Jablonki
Mariehamn, Finland, August 28, 2012 – While the men have already completed their 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour season, the women continue their run this week with the Paf Open in Finland. This penultimate event on the women’s calendar is held in Mariehamn, the capital of the Finnish autonomous province of Aland.

After successfully hosting four double gender events in the past, this year Aland is holding a women’s only tournament. Almost 50 teams from 22 countries have entered the $190,000 Paf Open. Olympic bronze medallists and three time winners of the Finnish event, Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta da Silva, will be leading the field.

The current World Tour leaders from Brazil won the Paf Open in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and finished third last year. The 2011 Aland edition was won by China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, who beat USA’s Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the final. Neither of those teams will be here to play for another medal.

Among the top teams competing in Mariehamn are Switzerland’s Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr, gold medallists in Rome this year, and Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler, who finished third two weeks ago in Stare Jablonki. Both teams finished 9th at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the beginning of August.

A few teams will be making their FIVB SWATCH World Tour debut at the Paf Open. These include Finnish teams Sinisalo/Ahtiainen and Hasu/Pollari, Austria’s Fleig/Fruhbauer, Greece’s Paraskaki/Dilaveri, Belarus’ Burak/Seryk, Sweden’s Ogren/Asberg and Ukraine’s Basanova/Hrytsyuk.

Local favourite Erika Nystrom will not be playing with her sister Emilia this time, but teams up with inexperienced Saana Koljonen. Host country Finland has never won a medal at the Aland event.

The 2012 Paf Open starts on Wednesday with the qualification tournament. The main draw teams get into action on Thursday. The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, followed by the bronze medal match and the final on Sunday.

After the Finnish event the women prepare for the final event of the 2012 women’s calendar: the Bangsaen Thailand Open October 23 to 28.
More press releases
2/09/2012 First gold medal for Germany’s Holtwick/Semmler
1/09/2012 Spain’s Liliana/Baquerizo play their first career final in Aland
1/09/2012 Ukolova/Khomyakova eliminate Juliana/Larissa to reach final four in Aland
31/08/2012 Liliana/Baquerizo and Kuhn/Zumkehr reach Paf Open semifinals
30/08/2012 Thai team goes Europe
30/08/2012 Holtwick and Semmler aim for another semifinal
29/08/2012 Austria, Germany and the Netherlands advance two teams into the Paf Open main draw
29/08/2012 Germany’s Bieneck/Grossner earns spot in Aland qualification
28/08/2012 Brazil’s Larissa/Juliana lead the field in Aland
20/08/2012 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour season update
11/06/2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour women’s Paf Open set for Aland