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World Tour leaders and home favourites in line for Berlin showdown

Taiana Lima (left) and Talita Antunes have their sights set on a fifth World Tour gold medal of the year in Berlin
Berlin, Germany, August 10, 2013 – FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour leaders Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima remain in-line for their fifth World Tour gold medal having reached Sunday’s semifinals at the Berlin smart Grand Slam on Saturday. 

Also on course for a place in the final are the last remaining German team, Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler, though both teams will have to negotiate tricky semifinal opponents first.
The Germans play first, against USA’s Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat at 10.35 local-time, before Brazilians Talita and Lima take on the Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova in the second semifinal at 11.35.

Vitor Felipe and Evandro complete golden run 

Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves defeated Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov to complete a run that had started in the qualifying round six days earlier. 
The Brazilians beat the Russians 2-1 (21-23, 21-13, 15-15) in 53 minutes to win their first ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal in their first final, in their first season together. 

“I can’t believe it,” Vitor Felipe said. “I’ve never stood on top of a podium before, be it FIVB or the Brazilian Tour or anywhere and now I’ve won gold.” MORE  

Brink hopeful of 2013 return as Germany’s golden pair celebrate London anniversary

A year ago to the day Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann woke up in their beds at the London 2012 Olympic Village with something extra to put in their baggage for their journey home – Olympic gold medals.

Life post-London has taken the pair in different directions. Reckermann retired and has combined completing his teaching degree with work for Germany’ Sky Television. Brink meanwhile began a new partnership with Sebastian Fuchs. However, he has been plagued with injuries and last competed at the Corrientes Grand Slam in May. 

The 31-year-old had hoped to be back for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, but his ongoing thigh problems ruled him out once again. However, he is hopeful of returning to competition in 2013, but is refusing to say when or where. MORE

Slukova and Kolocova happy to be Berlin party poopers 

Slukova and Kolocova silenced the centre court crowd when they knocked out local favourites Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.

The Czech Republic duo beat the Germans 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) to reach their first ever World Tour Grand Slam semifinal, where they will face Talita and Lima. 

In the other semifinals Holtwick and Semmler will play USA’s Fopma and Brooke. MORE  

The Berlin smart Grand Slam is the seventh Grand Slam on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, which is comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. There are also eight Open events and while they are not part of the World Tour, they still count towards the FIVB World Rankings and help open the door for development of the sport. 

The tournament concludes with the women’s gold and bronze medal matches on Sunday August 11, while the men’s medal matches took place on Saturday August 10. 

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