Photo: Marcelo Maragni – Red Bull Content Pool (http://www.redbull.com.br)
This Saturday two thousand fans filled the stands to watch some of the world’s beach volleyball stars in action in a very special place: Macapá, in the North of Brazilis bisected by the equator, meaning half the city belongs to the Northern hemisphere and the other half in in the Southern hemisphere.
The net runs straight down the line of the equator in this second edition of the ‘Red Bull’ Latitude Zero tournament. On one side, fighting for the North were the FIVB Heroes Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, playing alongside the Greek duo Arvaniti and Tsiartsiani. On the other, making up the Southern hemisphere team, were FIVB Hero Maria Clara Salgado, Australian Tamsin Hinchley, and the brazilians Bruno Schmidt and Ricardo, who replaced FIVB Hero Alison Cerutti at the last minute, as “the Mammoth” had to undergo surgery during the week.
Different from the usual FIVB format, where the game is limited by the score, this beach volleyball game is determined by the time, making it an endurance challenge. One and a half hours of pure volleyball, with no stops, and a lot of dedication from our Heroes. The match was split into three phases. In the first 25 minutes it was the girls who opened the show. FIVB Hero Maria Clara Salgado and her partner Hinchley gave the South Team the initial advantage with a score of 26 to 21.
In the next 25 minutes it was time for the boys. Used to the heat and the conditions of the city, the Brazilians improved the score with to 61 to 49 against the 2008 Olympic champions. Todd Rogers, who announced last week he is retiring from volleyball, commented after the game: “They knew how to better dose the energy, they had the most correct strategy and can count on younger players. I think it was impossible to beat this team today”.
The final phase of the game, lasting 45 minutes, is the 4×4 formation, when the team from the South pressed home their advantage and ended up winning by 126 to 95. FIVB Hero Maria Clara, who was the only one also present in the first edition of the tournament in 2010, thanked the Brazilian crowd for their support. “Playing against such a high level team to achieve another victory was amazing. I think Macapá gives me luck. I’ll cheer that we have an Olympic Games here, so I can count with this wonderfull support on my side”, said the Brazilian star.
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