Shanghai, China, May 2, 2009 - For the third-straight time, Brazil has defeated China for a women’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal as seventh-seeded Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli defeated the host country entry here Saturday at the US$380,000 China Shanghai Jinshan Open.
With a 21-17 and 21-13 win in 37 minutes over eighth-seeded Jie Wang and Man Zuo, Talita and Antonelli shared the $30,000 first-place prize as the Brazilian women improved their gold medal record against China to 9-3. It was also Brazil’s third women’s international titles at the Beach Volley Venue in the Jinshan District of Shanghai.
Talita also won her second-straight title in Shanghai as she captured the 2008 Jinshan District crown with Renata Riberio, her Olympic partner at the Beijing 2008 Summer Games where the Brazilians placed fourth. Talita has now won her last 13 matches at the Jinshan Beach Volley Venue as she and Renata placed third in the 2007 Shanghai event.
“It is great to win again in Shanghai,’ said the 26-year Talita, who claimed her sixth SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal with the first five titles being with Renata. “After last week’s disappointment in Brasília, it was great to get back to reaching the medal rounds along with winning the top spot on the podium. Shanghai is becoming a very special place as I have won three-straight medals here.”
The 25-year old Antonelli won her second SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal after capturing an event last season in Norway (Kristiansand) with Vanilda Leao, who placed fifth this week with Renata. Talita is now 6-6 in SWATCH gold medal matches with Antonelli 2-1.
“Leao and I were a good team,” said Antonelli, who was named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the China Shanghai Jinshan Open. “To win constantly on this tour, you have to have a good blocker. Talita is considered one of the best in the world. For my part, I must play good defensive behind her blocking at the net to make us a very strong team. We proved that this week. The competition was very good this week as three of our six matches were three-setters.”
Earlier Saturday morning before the medal matches, the women’s semi-finals were held with Talita and Antonelli posting a 21-17, 19-21 and 15-9 win in 68 minutes over the second-seeded Brazilian Salgado sisters (Carolina and Maria Clara) while Wang and Zuo defeated Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig of Germany 21-16, 19-21 and 15-11 in 56 minutes.
The China Shanghai Jinshan Open stop is the final double gender event on 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar before the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships presented by ConocoPhillips. The $1-million event will be staged June 25-July 5 in Stavanger, Norway. The women’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour will continue in Asia with single gender stops in Japan (Osaka, May 19-24) and Korea (, Seoul, May 26-3
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS