By Luiza Moscoso, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The opening event of the 2009 Beach Volleyball World Tour will be held in Brasília, Brazil’s national capital, from April 20th to April 26th and the most important Brazilian doubles are ready to play against the best ranked international players.
The Brazilian doubles just finished the fourth stop of the national circuit, held in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, from April 1st to April 5th, which they faced as a high level training for the World Tour.
After winning the female finals of the third (in Curitiba, Paraná) and fourth stops of the national circuit, the Carioca female doubles team; Renata Ribeiro and Vanilda “Val” Leão are even more confident for the event in Brasília: “We will fight there to go back to the (international) rank and it’s great to be able to use the national circuit as a preparation for that”, says Renata.
But Renata and Val aren’t the only doubles arriving in Brasília well prepared and full of confidence due to victories at the national circuit. Talita Antunes and Maria Elisa Antonelli, winners of the first and second stops, held in Balneário Camboriú (Santa Catarina) and Santa Maria (Rio Grande do Sul), believe the national competition gives them an advantage for the World Tour event.
“We’re very excited and as good results came, this feeling has grown and is being put in our games. We’re very focused on doing a good job at the World Tour and the national circuit has contributed a lot to that. Here we have some of the best players and they all have different styles, so we’ll arrive in Brasilia very well trained”, says Maria Elisa.
The Brazilian male doubles also have gained an extra dose of motivation and training during the national circuit. The partners João “Billy” Maciel and Bruno Schmidt got to the highest place of the podium for the first time in the national competition at the São José dos Campos stop. They defeated the vice Olympic champions Marcio Araújo and Fábio Luiz Magalhães, who have more than 450 victories in their career and will also be playing at the World Circuit.
Just recovered from an ankle injury, Pedro Solberg and his partner Pedro Cunha didn’t pass the elimination stage at São José dos Campos – they were defeated by Billy and Bruno Schmidt – but the Carioca double is working hard to hit Brasília’s court in their best shape.
“I’m working hard to achieve victories and we have our feet on the ground. The national circuit gave us a good preparation, but we’re going to intensify the trainings on the weeks previous to the World Tour opening”, analyzes Solberg.
Though not completely recovered from a knee injury, Juliana Silva finished in second place on the São José dos Campos stop with partner Larissa França. The World Tour opening will be her third championship after the injury and she thinks the national circuit gave her a great opportunity to arrive in Brasília in a better shape: “I don’t know when I’ll get to my best shape. I still lack pacing, but not dedication. The World Tour games are longer and the national circuit was a great practicing”.