It was crunch time at Brasilia Open for the girls as the semifinals were held yesterday. Local heroes Talita and Maria Antonelli powered through on their way to victory as the big winners of the FIVB Heroes face-offs. Beating two American counterparts, first Kessy and Ross, then Walsh and May-Treanor, they were the first team to secure their spot in the semifinals. And they topped this impressive performance by relegating Italian FIVB Heroes Cicolari and Menegatti to the match for third place in front of an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.
So who will Talita/Antonelli be competing with in today’s final? None other than the mighty Xue and Zhang Xi. The Chinese ladies maintained their perfect score by eliminating last year’s champions Larissa and Juliana, a victory that was perfectly timed for Zhang Xi, as she celebrated her 27th birthday yesterday! Can there be a better gift for an FIVB Hero? A double celebration after the match was definitely the order of the day for this beach volleyball star!
So now we know that last year’s final between Walsh/May-Treanor and Juliana/Larissa will not be repeated, speculation is reaching fever pitch as to who will take home the crown today. Follow the final on fivb.org!
While the girls’ tournament is reaching its grand finale moment, for the guys the show is just getting started – but we’ve already witnessed a major upset as Chinese favourites Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu were eliminated early by Italian powerhouse Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo! Meanwhile, the reigning Swatch World Tour champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerrutti and Olympic champions Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser started into the competition with straight two-set victories, while Spaniards Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira conceded one set, but are still on course for glory.
Women or men: our FIVB Heroes are the biggest stars in the capital of Brasil and wowing their fans – and opponents! – with great attitude. And let’s remember, this is just the beginning of season!