2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour
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Elsewhere Thiago and Cunha remained ahead of the pack in the men’s competition winning their third tournament of the season by defeating fellow SWATCH FIVB athletes Santos and Salgado in a three-set-thriller by 13-18, 19-17 and 15-10.
After finishing second on the first two stops, and fifth on the Sao Jose dos Campos leg, the team recovered well to pick up their first title of the season in Uberaba, a city that received the Tour for the first time ever.
“We started the year later than many of the other teams, so we knew it would take us some time to reach the same rhythm we had in the end of last season,” said Antonelli. “What matters is that we know we are going in the right direction and we still have the whole year ahead of us.”
The tournament in Uberaba was also marked by the fall of the only unbeaten team of the tour, reigning SWATCH FIVB World Tour champions Felisberta and Larrissa whose 17-0 win record for the season ended with a 2-1 (18-16, 13-18, 16-14) loss against Liliane and Luana in the quarterfinal match.
“They are a very strong team, respected around the world, and I am glad we beat them,” said Liliane, who finished fourth overall, after the match. “We only thought about playing the best we could and the result happened.”
In the male tournament, the consistency of Thiago and Cunha continued with a third title for the team, the only team in the competition which has played in the gold medal match on all four stops, winning three and losing just one.
“This was the hardest tournament of the season for us and the gold medal match showed it,” said Thiago. “Ricardo and Pedro played really well and every set was decided on the final point. Our desire to win made the difference, even if they were very motivated too as well. We were exhausted at the end, but did not give up.”
Goiania will host the fifth stop of the season, from March 25 to 28. The city is back to Tour’s schedule after four years of absence.
photos Janos Schmidt