Talita and Lima confirmed as women’s rankings champs
The Brazilian duo go into the one remaining FIVB ranking tournament of the season – the Durban Open – at the top of the rankings table with 7,210 points and a comfortable lead ahead of their nearest rivals.
Their compatriots Maria-Clara and Carolina Salgado are in second with 6,500 and German pair Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler are third with 6,474.
FIVB Season Ranking - Women
With 500 points on offer per team for an Open win and 280 points for a win in a continental event, Semmler and Holtwick may have posed a challenge to Antunes and Lima for the top spot if they had taken part in the 2013 Montpelier Beach Volley Indoor tournament, which began on Friday and will run until December 1.
Even if they confirm their participation in South Africa, neither the Salgado sisters nor Semmler and Holtwick would be able to close the gap with Talita and Lima as the 500 points on offer to the winners would not take them above the Brazilian pair.
However, the race for the second and third places in the seasonal ranking is still up for grabs with even the current fourth placed team of Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst still in contention for second place. The Germans have 6,092 points and as they are the only one of the three German teams to have registered for Durban so far, a win on the Indian Ocean coast would allow them to leapfrog the Salgados and Holtwick and Semmler and snatch second place.
Debut season glory
In only their first season together Talita and Lima have been the dominant pair throughout the season. They won the season opening World Tour Grand Slam in Shanghai and then added further gold medals at the Grand Slams in The Hague, Rome, Long Beach and Berlin.
The pair were a slick combination of Talita’s power and dominance at the net and Lima’s agility around the back of the court.
They rounded off their World Tour season by claiming silver at the Xiamen Grand Slam, the final tournament of 10 on the World Tour and they also won bronze medals at the Gstaad Grand Slam. Talita also teamed up for one last time with former partner Maria Antonelli to win gold at the FIVB World Cup Finals in front her home fans in Campinas.
The rankings take into account points won at FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slams, FIVB Beach Volleyball Opens, as well as continental and domestic tours.
In the men’s rankings the winners will come down to the tournament in South Africa. Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs currently lead with 6,990 points, ahead of Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt who are on 6,740.