Long Beach, Calif., USA, July 26, 2013—Proving once again their overall superiority in the blossoming sport of beach volleyball, the Women’s tandems from Brazil captured both the gold and silver medals Friday afternoon and Germany secured the bronze as the women’s tournament finished at the $440,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam double-gender tournament, presented by ASICS.
Earning the gold medal was Brazil’s Taiana Lima/Talita Antunes while the silver medal went to Brazil’s Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Salgado and Germany’s Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler earned the bronze medal.
GOLD MEDAL MATCH
In another one of those battles for the ages between veteran compatriots who are very familiar with each other even though they were meeting for only the fourth time on the FIVB World Tour, Brazil’s No. 2-seeded Lima/Antunes gutted out their fourth consecutive three-set match in the tournament to slip past Brazil’s No. 4-seeded sisters Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Salgado, 20-22, 21-15, 15-13 in the 61-minute women’s finale.
As could easily be expected, all three sets were close, especially the first and third that could have gone either way but Brazil’s Lima/Antunes pulled it out with grit and determination and just enough good breaks to move their record as a team with Brazil’s Salgado sisters to 4-1. Almost saving the best for last, the 61-minute gold medal match was the longest women’s match of the tournament.
Said an exhausted Antunes following the colorful awarding ceremony, “This was a great FIVB tournament, I think we played really well and it was wonderful playing in America. When it comes down to it we are just trying to do our best at all times. The championship was a great match, we played really well in this gold medal match, much better than we have been playing in the matches leading up to this one. The Salgado sisters played really well too in this match we have nothing but respect for them.”
In just their eighth FIVB international tournament playing together, Brazil’s Lima/Antunes earned their fourth gold medal of the 2013 FIVB World Tour and fifth final four tournament finish. Both veteran players, this event was Lima’s eighth FIVB World Tour/Open final four and fourth gold medal. For Antunes, Long Beach was her 58th career final four and here 17th gold medal.