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NEWS

Brazil and USA to clash on Copacabana

 
Alison Cerutti (left) and Phil Dalhausser (right) are just two of the star players set to compete at the Top of the World Brazil vs USA tournament
 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 4, 2015 – A host of Olympic gold medallists, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour winners and world champions will clash in Rio de Janeiro from February 26 to March 1 as Brazil’s best welcome the top players from the United States at the Top of the World Brazil vs USA tournament.

Some of the world’s finest beach volleyball athletes will meet on the sand at Copacabana Beach in what will be a scintillating appetizer for the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour as well as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, set to take place at the same location.

Both countries have now named their eight best teams, four male and four female.

Each pair will play the other country’s line-up twice, with the best of each country moving on to the finals and third-place match, respectively.

USA have named a strong team which features a host of experience including two Olympic gold medallists and four world champions.

Walsh

Men
Phil Dalhausser (Beijing 2008 gold medallist and 2007 world champion) and Sean Rosenthal
John Hyden and Tri Bourne
Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson
Nick Lucena and Theo Brunner

Women
Kerri Walsh Jennings (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 gold medallist and 2003, 2005 and 2007 world champion) and April Ross (2009 world champion)
Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat
Jennifer Kessy (2009 world chanmpion) and Emily Day
Jennifer Fopma and Summer Ross

Brazil have also banked on experience, with veteran duo Emauel Rego and Ricardo Santos teaming up for the contest.

Emanuel

Men
Peter Solberg and Evandro Goncalves 
Alvaro Fiho and Vitor Felipe
Emanuel Rego (Athens 2004 gold medallist and 2003 and 2011 world champion) and Ricardo Santos (Athens 2004 gold medallist and 2003 world champion)
Alison Cerutti (2011 world champion) and Bruno Schmidt.

Women
Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas
Maria Elisa Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta Silva (2011 world champion)
Carol and Maria Clara Salgado
Larissa França (2011 world champion) and Talita Antunes

“It’s a cool test event for the Rio Olympics,” Jake Gibb said. “It’s a trial event for all of the players. We will use this as a trial for the Olympic qualification which starts this year. It’s the same thing we did in Tempe in 2009. It was really cool, that event was one of my favourite I’ve ever played in. I’m hoping for the same thing here and the same result.

The United States claimed victory on that occasion, with Dalhausser and then-partner Todd Rogers beating Alison and Harley Marques 2-0 in the decider.

“We won in Tempe in the very last match. It’s like a Ryder Cup for volleyball where you get to play and win as a team. You have individual wins and win individual prize money, but you also win as a team.”

“It’s a unique event, I’m excited to be part of it,” Lauren Fendrick added. “It’s in Rio, going to be played where the Olympics will be. We get to play against Brazil; the US and Brazil are really strong teams. Not just us, but all of the teams will be strong. It will be a test good test for us in the preseason to see where we are at, what we need to improve on, what changes we need to make.”

The rivalry between Brazil and the United States has a long history. 

Brazil have nine FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships to their name while USA boast five since the competition first started in 1997. 

Brazil also have bragging rights when it comes to the Olympic Games. Of the 30 medals competed for in beach volleyball since the Atlanta 2006 Games, Brazil have won 11 (two gold, six silver and three bronze) and the United States nine (six gold, two silver and one bronze). 




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