Lausanne, Switzerland, October 18, 2012 – Brazil’s Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva have officially been declared champions of the women’s 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour for a record-tying seventh time ahead of next week’s visit to Thailand for the Bangsaen Open powered by PTT, the final event on the 2012 women’s calendar.
China’s Chen Xue/Xi Zhang have not entered into the upcoming tournament in Thailand, and no other team has a mathematical chance of catching the world champions. This is the fourth consecutive season title and seventh in the last eight years for the Brazilian duo, who have announced that they will no longer be playing as a team starting in 2013.
Breaking the all-time FIVB women’s record of six career team titles established by compatriots Shelda Bede/Adriana Behar, Larissa and Juliana now join Shelda as the only players with seven season titles. Shelda won her final season crown in 2004 with Ana Paula Connelly. In the 21-year history of the women’s FIVB SWATCH World Tour, Brazilian duos have now won 18 season titles. USA tandems have captured the other three titles.
“It is a great honour for us as a team and for Brazil to win the FIVB SWATCH World Tour season title for the seventh time,” said Juliana, who was voted as the most outstanding women’s player on the tour for three consecutive seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2011. “Larissa has been a great, great partner and she has pushed us as a team to the highest level possible. Because this was our final season as a team, this will be the most memorable season championship of all.”
After 11 of 12 events, Larissa, 30, and Juliana, 29, have 5,320 total points for the 2012 season and an 80-point margin over China’s Xue/Zhang. The team’s point total is based on their nine best results from the year’s major events*. Larissa/Juliana won $241,800 in season prize money.
Team mates since 2004, Larissa and Juliana are among the most successful pairs in beach volleyball history. The duo has won not only seven FIVB SWATCH World Tour titles, but two Pan-American Games and five Brazilian Tours. The pair also won the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Championships in 2011 in Rome, after previously taking two silvers and a bronze.
Larissa/Juliana also earned the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games – Juliana’s first Olympic Games and Larissa’s second. In 2008 the pair set the women’s record for FIVB SWATCH World Tour gold medals in a single season with eight.
Overall on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, Larissa/Juliana earned six podium finishes and seven final four spots, including three gold medals in the Grand Slam events in Beijing, Berlin and Stare Jablonki – their fourth consecutive gold medal in Stare Jablonki.
In their FIVB career together, Larissa/Juliana played in 108 events as a team and earned an amazing 87 final four finishes. These resulted in 45 gold medals, 20 silver medals, 17 bronze medals and $2,656,950 in FIVB career earnings.
The 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour has a total purse of $6.13 million in prize money. The women’s World Tour featured 12 total events, but with schedule adjustments made due to the 2012 season starting in April, the men ended their 11-event schedule in Stare Jablonki, Poland, on August 19. Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal of USA were confirmed as the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour men’s title winners. The women’s last tour stop prior to Bangsaen was in Aland, Finland and ended on September 2. The Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland was the 282nd men’s event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour schedule and next week’s event in Bangsaen will be the 244th all-time FIVB women’s event.
The first men’s FIVB SWATCH World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the first women’s event was played August 14-16, 1992 at Almeria, Spain.
For more information on the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour, please visit www.fivb.org.
* The FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour champions are determined by calculating the points for a team’s best finishes based on 75 percent of the events (Open, World Championship and Grand Slam) staged during the season. In 2012, with the women’s tour playing 12 events, points are based on their nine best performances. For the rankings, click here, and for more information on how ranking is determined click here.
All-Time Women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour Point Champions:
1992-93–Karolyn Kirby/Nancy Reno, United States
1993-94–Kirby/Liz Masakayan, United States
1994-95–Monica Rodrigues/Adriana Samuel, Brazil
1995-96–Sandra Pires/Jackie Silva, Brazil
1997–Shelda Bede/Adriana Behar, Brazil
2002–Misty May/Kerri Walsh, United States
2003–Ana Paula Connelly/Pires, Brazil
2005–Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca, Brazil
2008–Shelda/Ana Paula, Brazil
(courtesy of FIVB.org)