15th FIVB World Tour gold medal for Talita & Larissa
Back on top of the Moscow women's podium are Brazilians Talita Antunes (left) and Larissa Franca
Moscow, Russia, June 4, 2017 - Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca continue to relish in the spoils of their success as the veteran Brazilian Beach Volleyball players captured their 15th FIVB World Tour gold medal together here Sunday at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Centre.
With a convincing 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) gold medal win in 30 minutes over 11th-seeded Summer Ross and Brooke Sweat of the United States, Talita and Larissa captured their second title together in their past three starts in the Russian capital with the only blemish a gold medal setback in 2016 to Americans April Ross (no relation to Summer) and Kerri Walsh Jennings.
"First in Fort Lauderdale, but 5th in Rio and now gold again," said the 34-year old Talita. "We are so happy to get this gold after not doing so well in Rio. We had a tough week in Moscow. It was really cold. But we did the best we could in this 'Russian summer'."
The 35-year old Larissa added that her team has "to be very focussed when we are in the final. The final is of course important, the teams are in the final because they are good and did a good tournament. We focused very hard to play at a high level in this game and not think about the cold weather and play our best. And we did it and got it right."
In sharing the US$10,000 first-place prize, Talita and Larissa improved their Moscow mark to 18-2 while winning their 161st FIVB World Tour match in 182 contests (88.5 percent). In addition, Larissa has three Moscow gold medals to her credit with the first being in 2009 with Juliana Felisberta followed by the 2015 triumph with Talita.
Larissa, who has collected seven Moscow medals in seven appearances in the Russian capital, also improved her FIVB women’s record with her 61st World Tour gold medal in 145 events. Only legendary Brazil Emanuel Rego has won more FIVB titles than Larissa with 77 to his credit. Talita ranks sixth on the women’s FIVB World Tour gold medal list as Sunday’s title was her 33rd in 159 starts.
Summer and Sweat, who were playing in only their second FIVB World Tour event after placing fourth in the 2017 season-opening tournament in the United States where the Americans lost to Talita and Larissa in the semi-finals 2-0 (21-16, 21-16), split $8,000 for their silver medal finish. Neither player had finished higher than ninth in Moscow prior to this weekend’s placement.
A Mikasa reception for Summer Ross (right) and American partner Brooke Sweat follows the action
Sunday’s finale also marked the 95th-time that Brazilian and American pairs have competed in a women’s FIVB World Tour gold medal match since 1992 with Brazil winning for the 42nd-time as comparted to the USA’s 53 victories. The 2017 Moscow finale was the fourth-time the two countries played for gold in the Russian capital.
Misty May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings defeated Larissa and Juliana for the 2011 Moscow title. April Ross and Walsh Jennings bettered Talita and Taiana Lima for the 2014 crown as the American Olympic pair prevailed in 2016 over Talita and Larissa.
With the Moscow stop completed as the sixth double gender stop on the 2017 FIVB World Tour calendar, the international circuit takes a week off before resuming play June 15-18 for a “three-star” $150,000 event in The Netherlands at The Hague.
The Moscow men's and women's podium featuring players from Brazil, Russia and the United States. The back row (left to right) includes Sweat, Ross, Talita, Larissa, Agatha and Duda. The front row includes Liamin, Krasilnikov, Dalhausser, Lucena, Yarzutkin and Stoyanovskiy.
Highlighting the 2017 international calendar for men and women Beach Volleyball players will be the $1-million FIVB World Championships July 28 through August 6 in Vienna, Austria and the $800,000 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals August 23-27 in Hamburg, Germany. Overall, there are 15 men’s and 19 women’s events on the $5.335-million FIVB World Tour schedule.