By Jayme Monsanto, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Two more medals were added to the Brazilian collection of Beach Volleyball World Tour titles last weekend. Juliana/Larissa claimed gold, while Talita/Maria Elisa got the bronze medal at the PAF Open, at Mariehamn, Finland, last Saturday. The male doubles did not enjoy the same success and failed to win any medals.
The results achieved by the female doubles have enlivened the dispute over the season title, as the gap between Juliana/Larissa and ranking leaders Talita/Maria Elisa has been reduced to only forty points (6000 for Talita/Maria Elisa against 5960 for Juliana/Larissa).
With four more events before the end of the Beach Volleyball World Tour, all is still to play for. It will however be a Brazilian duo to take the title, as third-placed Jennifer Kessy and April Ross from the US, have only 4860 points and will not be able to catch up with the Brazilians.
The gold medal match was between Juliana/Larissa and Ross/Kessy, and the Brazilians won by 2 sets to 0 (21-15 and 28-26). It was the second time the two doubles played each other since the Americans defeated the Brazilians in the World Championships in Stavenger, Norway. After the setback in Norway, the Brazilians won both matches.
“We are still disappointed about the final result in Norway,” said the 27-year-old Larissa, who was named the most outstanding player for the PAF Open. “The Americans are a very tough team who have a lot of experience playing in big matches. We have been successful against them, except for Stavanger.” It was the tenth gold medal for Brazil in twelve events in the female class.
In the All-Brazilian bronze medal match, Talita/Maria Elisa beat Ana Paula/Shelda by 2 sets to 0 (21-16 and 21-18). The result was essential for Talita and Maria Elisa to maintain their lead in the ranking.
The male doubles from Brazil, on the other hand, lost the chance to dispute the first place in the ranking.
Alison/Harley (second place in the ranking) were eliminated early in the Finnish event, and ranking leaders Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann, from Germany, managed to get the silver medal.
With the result, the difference between the two doubles opened up to 440 points (6140 for the Germans against 5700 for the Brazilians).
Since there are only two more World Tour stops in the male class, the Brazilians cannot catch the Germans anymore, and Brink/Reckermann claimed the World Tour title ahead of time.
The final match was between the Dutch team of Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil and Germans Brink/Reckermann. The Dutch were the winners by two sets to one (21-23, 21-15 and 15-11). The bronze medal was won by David Klemperer and Eric Koreng from Germany, who beat Brazilians Ricardo and Pedro Solberg by two sets to one (19/21, 21/16 and 15/13).
The next stop of the Beach Volleyball World Tour will be The Hague Open, a double gender event, in the Netherlands. The event will take place between August 25 and 30.