Brazilian Bombers: Larissa and Juliana Triumph at FIVB Sanya Open in China For Second Straight Win
The Brazilian Bombers just keep on bombing.
Oakley’s star Beach Volleyball duo of Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca topped Chinese defending Sanya Open champions (and fellow Oakley athletes) Xue Chen/Zhang Xi 2-1 (19-21, 22-20 and 17-15) on Sunday morning in a national televised gold medal match. The grand victory over the ‘home team’ tallied back-to-back titles for the Brazilians on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour.
On the heels of a killer win at the Brasilia Open last week, Juliana/Larissa were crowned in the Chinese resort city for the first time and only the second time on Chinese soil – the last coming at the Shanghai Open in 2005.
“It was an incredible match and we are very happy to win,” Juliana said before the awarding ceremony, rockin’ her Oakley Enduring performance eyewear. “We knew it would be a tough match and made good preparations last night.”
Behind 12-10 in the decisive third set, the Brazilian duo ran off four straight points to take a 14-12 advantage. With 3,000 plus vocal home fans backing them, Xue/Zhang beat off three match points to make it 15-all, but a smart tip effort from Juliana pushed the Brazilians up at 16-15 before an attack error from Xue sealed the match in 66 minutes.
“They are an old team and the home fans were cheering for them,” said Larissa, also in Enduring eyewear. “We are very tired, but very happy. We’ve got two gold medals now.”
Xue/Zhang failed to repeat their title-winning feat in 2010, but they were more than content with their silver finish following a disappointing ninth result in Brazil last week.
“Despite the loss in the final, we are happy about our improvement,” Xue Chen said in her Oakley Radar eyewear. “It’s the beginning of the new season and we are in better shape than last week. Hopefully we will be even better next week in Shanghai.”
Oakley’s two-time defending gold medalist Kerri Walsh and her long-time partner Misty May-Treanor withdrew from the contest due to a left knee injury May-Treanor received in Saturday’s semifinal match against Xue/Zhang.
The American team also made the decision to withdraw from the Shanghai Open to allow May-Treanor enough time for recovery.
The 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour will continue next week with the US $380,000 double gender Shanghai Jinshan Open – kicking off on Monday.