By Jayme Monsanto, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian doubles once again dominated the World Beach Volleyball Tour last weekend, claiming gold in both the male and female events.
In Poland at the Myslowice Open the men’s event was won by the Harley and Alison double after they defeated Americans Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings in the final on Sunday.
That makes it four podium finishes out of four for the Brazilians having already won gold in Shanghai, silver in Brasília and bronze in Rome. The result takes them to the top spot of the male ranking so far this season on 2,220 points. The second place belongs to another Brazilian duo Pedro Cunha/Pedro Salgado with 1,680 points.
This is only Harley and Alison’s first season together, and when asked if their success was the start of a new era in his career, Harley said “It’s just started! It’s our second gold medal together internationally. We’re a good team and I’m glad to share this gold with my mate Alison”.
The female event took place in Seoul, Korea, and was won by the Brazilians Talita and Maria Elisa after the couple also defeated Americans Jen Kessy and April Ross in the final. Like their male counterparts, Talita and Maria Elisa only started playing together this year. “We are feeling more comfortable playing with each other,” said the 25-year old Maria Elisa Antonelli, “Talita had an outstanding game and her threat at the net gives me a chance to defend better behind her block”.
So far, all of this season’s World Tour female events were won by Brazilian doubles. Larissa/Juliana won the Brasília and Osaka Opens, and Talita/Maria Elisa had previously claimed gold in the Shanghai Open. Now with the Seoul Open gold, Talita/Maria Elisa sit at the top position of the World Tour ranking, with 1,920 points. No fewer than three Brazilian doubles are tied in the 2nd position, all with 1,500 points: Larissa/Juliana, Vanilda/Renata and Carolina/Maria Clara.
Now the World Beach Volleyball Tour takes a break until June 25th, when the World Championship competition begins in Stavenger, Norway, in a double gender event. The women’s final is scheduled for July 4th, while the men’s final will be on July 5th.