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Brazil’s Rodrigao to make beach volleyball debut

After an extensive volleyball career, Rodrigao will partner with veteran Carlao Arrudo on Brazil's national beach volleyball tour this weekend
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 30 – Former Brazilian Olympic volleyball champion Rodrigo Santana (Rodrigao) starts a new challenge this weekend. After 16 years of playing for the national volleyball team, the 33 year old will make his debut in beach volleyball, playing the sixth stop of the Banco do Brasil National Tour, in Rio de Janeiro.

In his first beach volleyball tournament, the Athens Olympic champion and two-time silver medallist will team up with veteran Carlao Arrudo.

“I always thought about playing beach volleyball and as I will be out of the next edition of the Superliga, I realised it was a good moment to make the change. The first event will be a learning experience to see how things work,” he said.

Rodrigao finished playing volleyball with the Al-Rayan club in October in the FIVB Club World Championship and expects his first beach volleyball tournament to be tough.

“Although I have been practicing on the sand for about a month, we are going to face people who have been playing beach volleyball for years and who are used to the major tournaments. They also have a better rhythm than I do, so it will be very good if we can win a match,” said Rodrigao.

Also participating in the tournament are Beijing silver medallist Fabio Luiz Magalhaes and semifinalists Renato ‘Geor’ Gomes and Jorge ‘Gia’ Terceiro. The Salgado sisters, Maria Clara and Carolina as well as Beijing Olympian Renata Ribeiro will take part in the women’s competition.

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