Brazil, home of many great beach volleyball players and FIVB Heroes, is ready to open the new season of the Swatch World Tour! And what could be better for Brazil’s stars than getting started in front of an enthusiastic home crowd? It’s the perfect way to ramp up motivation and give their best to do even better than in 2011.
Last year, Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego won the FIVB Swatch World Tour with five gold medals in 11 events including the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Championship in Rome and a match record of 60-8 (88.2%). Youngster Alison, 25, was voted Best Offensive Player, Best Blocker and Best Hitter while his veteran partner Emanuel, 38, was honoured as the Most Outstanding Player as well as the Most Inspirational Player and Sportsman of the Year. While Emanuel relies on his experience and technique, the energy, strength and impressive blocking skills of his young colleague Alison make for an almost unbeatable combination. And where last year they came second in Brasilia, in 2012 they hope to kickstart their season with a gold medal in front of their home crowd!
Their fellow Brazilian Swatch World Tour 2011 champions, Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta da Silva, did succeed at the first stop of the tour last year and are getting ready to repeat this feat with the support of a vocal crowd of passionate fans. Maria Clara Salgado, daughter of Brazilian indoor volleyball 80s legend Isabel Salgado, will try to rise to the top as well. While her sister Carolina is taking a break to prepare for her first baby, Maria Clara is teaming up with with Raquel Pelluci to surprise the favourites. Having practically grown up under the net, she can never be underestimated! Maria Elisa Antonelli and Talita da Rocha Antunes form another strong Brazilian team. Since they started playing together in 2009, their goal has been to take home an Olympic medal. As London 2012 approaches, they are more focused than ever on the world circuit and their mantra is to play the game day by day.
With Brasilia just around the corner as the start of the 2012 FIVB Swatch World Tour, our Brazilian FIVB Heroes hope that the sand of their homeland will bring them luck for this upcoming, exciting season!