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Talita & Larissa bid for No. 1 Olympic provisional ranking spot

Seeking the top spot on the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying list is Larissa Franca (pictured) and Talita Antunes.
Vitória, Brazil, March 18, 2016 - Led by host Brazil, the women’s sweet 16 at the $150,000 Vitória Open will feature eight countries as top-seeded Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca from the South American country bid to overtake compatriots Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas as the No. 1 team on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games provisional ranking list.

With Agatha and Barbara sitting out this week after placing third and fifth in their first two FIVB World Tour starts this season in Brazil (Maceio and Rio de Janeiro), Talita and Larissa must advance to Sunday’s gold medal match to move past their rivals on the Olympic provisional list.  

Quick links
•    Vitória Open website
•    Qualification - Men
•    Qualification - Women
•    Main draw - Men
•    Main draw - Women

With both pairs named last September to represent Brazil in the beach volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where the Copacabana competition will be played August 6-18, Agatha and Barbara have met the requirement of participating in atleast 12 FIVB World Tour and/or approved continental championship events with 6,870 points for their best dozen finishes since January 2015.

The Vitória Open is Talita and Larissa’s 12th qualifying event as the pair entered this week with 6,440 for their first 11 finishes. With a guaranteed ninth this week, Talita and Larissa have 6,680 points and a second-place or better finish in the FIVB World Tour event will boost their total to at least 6,890. The No. 1 team on the Olympic qualifying list will be awarded the top seed in the quadrennial event.

After earning a bye to the second-round of elimination by winning Pool A Thursday, Talita and Larissa will meet 19th-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke of Canada late Friday afternoon with the winner advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals against the victors from the match between Germany and the Slovak Republic.  

Talita and Larissa will be meeting the Canadians for the first-time on the FIVB World Tour.  Humana-Paredes and Pischke opened play Friday with a 2-0 (23-21, 21-18) win in 42 minutes over 21st-seeded Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic.

Here are the other second-round matches Friday afternoon. Saturday’s schedule will also feature the men’s and women’s semifinals. The medal matches for both genders will be played Sunday where the winning pairs will split the $11,000 first-place prize.

•    Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, Germany (No. 22-seeded) v Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova, Slovak Republic (24, No. 2-seeded qualifier)
•    Karla Borger/Britta Büthe, Germany (5) v Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia, Brazil (15, Q1)
•    Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Australia (4) v Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy, United States (14)
•    Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima, Brazil (3) v Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland (13)
•    Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, Italy (8) v Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, Germany (17)
•    Maria Antonelli/Liliane Maestrini, Brazil (10) v Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Vergé-Dépré, Switzerland (9)
•    April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, United States (2) v Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar, United States (28, Q8)

The early season FIVB World Tour swing through Brazil concludes with the Vitória Open after previous stops in Maceio (February 23-28) and on iconic Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro (March 8-13). Following the Vitória Open, the FIVB World Tour will take a two-week break before resuming action April 4-8 men’s-only event in Doha, Qatar. Before returning to Brazil for the Fortaleza Open at the end of April, two double-gender events will be staged in China at Xiamen (April 12-17) and Fuzhou (April 19-24).


 Additional links
   Download high-resolution photo
   FIVB home page
   Beach volleyball home page


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