Consolation: Brazilians Juliana and Larissa Claim Beach Volleyball Third in London
It may not have been the Title that the ultra talented Brazilian duo wanted.
But Juliana Felisberta Da Silva and Larissa Franca made up for a missed opportunity in Beijing by claiming a solid third place Beach Volleyball podium finish in London. The heavy bombers came back from a one set deficit to top China for the rights to hardware.
“I am very happy that I got a podium finish,” Juliana said. “It’s not the top. But for us, it’s a victory.”
It was a bit of a letdown of sorts, but there’s still no doubt that it was redemption for 2008 when an injury sustained by Juliana prevented the six-time FIVB World Tour Champions from competing in the Summer Games.
In a match following a loss to the second-place finishers, April Ross and Jen Jessy of the United States, the two athletic phenoms gave up the first set to Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, 21-11, in what was quite a scare.
But despite the talented Chinese team’s killer start, the Brazilians stormed back after being a mere two points from defeat in the second set, winning 21-19.
The top-seeded team went on to claim Set 3. Brazil took a 6-2 lead in the game, then 13-9, before China rallied back to cut it to two behind. It was down to one point – match point – when a hit by Zhang’s sailed long. It was all over.
Despite the obvious disappointment of a third place, the two were still grateful for what they achieved.
“Before I went to bed last night, I said, ‘Larissa, I’m very proud to play with you at the Games Juliana continued. “Not for the result, but for the experience.”
“An podium at the Games means a lot to Brazilians and the athletes,” Larissa said. “This result is very important for our careers. We’ve waited eight years and we needed this.”