Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 26, 2015 – Emanuel Rego, Ricardo Santos, Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta all have trophy cases laden with gold after winning six FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships between them and the quartet will set out on their quest to add more when they begin the Netherlands 2015, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Amsterdam on Saturday.
Amsterdam’s venue is a 2,000 capacity stadium on Dam Square, in front of the Royal Palace, a site which is in the centre of the city and which will host a total of 49 matches from pool play to quarterfinals.
The action in Amsterdam begins at 11.00 on Saturday when Switzerland’s Tanja Goricanec and Tanja Huberli take on Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee.
Emanuel and Ricardo won the 2003 World Championships in front of their home fans in Rio de Janeiro, two years after Emanuel had won his first title at Marseille 1999 alongside Jose Loiola. Eleven years later the pair, who also won gold together at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, were on the opposite side of the net in the Rome 2011 gold medal match, where Emanuel won his third title, this time alongside Alison Cerutti.
The duo re-united in 2014 and since then their best FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour result has been a silver medal finish at the 2014 Sao Paolo Grand Slam.
“I have had three really good moments and all different,” Emanuel said. “In the first one I was really fired up with Loiola and we played very strongly all the time. The second time with Ricardo, we were more concentrated on our strategy on court and aiming for perfection. With Alison it was about passing on my experience and how to play in a World Championships.
“Now with Ricardo it is about enjoying the game and seeing the moments and enjoying every second of the game.
“The organiser have done a perfect job and they are all great venues; this one in Amsterdam is historic. All the Brazilians want this for the Olympic places. It will be tough, there are four Brazilians fighting for two places.”
Shortly before Emanuel and Ricardo met either side of the net in Rome, Larissa and Juliana were ending their run of near misses with victory over Olympic champions Kerri Walsh and Misty May Treanor.
It ended a run of three World Championships in which they won silver in 2005 and 2009 and bronze in 2007. The pair went their separate ways after claiming London 2012 Olympic Games bronze, but have returned to action with new partners.
Larissa has teamed up with Talita Antunes, while Juliana Felisberta has formed a pair with Maria Antonelli, who played with Talita from 2009 until the end of 2012.
Both sides have quickly made strides together; Larissa and Talita had won six consecutive World Tour events together before that run ended when they finished ninth at the St Petersburg Grand Slam, the final event before the World Championships.
Juliana and Maria Antonelli paired up in 2014 and since then they have won two World Tour golds, five silver and one bronze. Ominously for their rivals at the most two recent events, they won gold and silver.