Big names lead Brazilian quest to build on 2013 FIVB World Tour success with South American Games glory
Pedro Salgado and Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt will lead the chase for men’s glory, while Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima and Liliane Maestrini and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa lead the women’s charge.
All four teams have enjoyed success in FIVB tournaments in recent years and will be out to use the tournament to kick-start their 2014 challenge for glory on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, which begins at the end of April at the Fuzhou Open in China. The South American Games run from March 7-18, with the beach volleyball competition taking place from March 12-15.
“I’m really looking forward to playing a championship of this stature alongside Pedro,” Emanuel said. “I think we’re on the same wavelength with our mentality and we have become even closer at the training centre in Saquarema, training hard and getting to know one another better every day. We are improving in each session and aiming for a good result in Chile.”
World Tour success
Last year Pedro and Bruno finished second to Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs in the men’s rankings, while Alison and Emanuel were one of the most decorated partnerships in recent years before they split at the end of 2013. In 2011 they won the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and the World Tour rankings title and then a year on they won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“It is the first time we have played together and we are both delighted to represent Brazil in a tournament that we are all playing in for the first time,” Alison said. “We hope to do our best because we feel good physically and our team has grown considerably too. It will be an important tournament in our preparations for the World Tour.”
Talita and Lima enjoyed a magnificent debut year together in 2013 when they won five grand slam gold medals en route to claiming the World Rankings title. It was also a breakthrough year for Lili, who won World Championships bronze, Gstaad Grand Slam silver and Rome Grand Slam bronze alongside Barbara Seixas.
Duda meanwhile is one of the most exciting players on the Brazilian circuit. Despite being only 14 years of age, she signalled her potential in 2013 by winning gold at the FIVB U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships and silver at the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships.