Brazilian Semifinal Victories Net Olympic Berth

The Hague, The Netherlands, July 3, 2015 - A pair of semifinal wins here Friday evening in the FIVB “senior” Beach Volleyball World Championships by Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves/Taiana Lima netted Brazil a second berth in the women competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

With Brazil guaranteed a berth in Beach Volleyball competition in Rio as the host country, the ninth-seeded Fernanda and Lima assured the South Americans the second spot in the Summer games by posting a 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) win in 34 minutes over fourth-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler of Germany.

The first semi-final marked the second-straight year that the Brazilians and Germans had played a “final four” match in The Hague as Fernanda and Lima posted 2-1 (21-16, 16-21, 15-12) win in 55 minutes over Holtwick and Semmler in the gold medal match at the 2014 Dutch Grand Slam on nearby Scheveningen beach. Overall, Fernanda and Lima have won 14-straight matches in The Hague.

With a pair of Brazilians playing in the second semi-final on the sand of The Hofvijver stadium court, Agatha and Barbara defeated compatriots Maria Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta 2-0 (24-22, 21-19) in 51 minutes. It was the fifth meeting between the two teams on the FIVB World Tour with Agatha and Barbara winning the last two matches to gain a 3-2 edge in the series.

Saturday’s gold medal match between the two Brazilian rivals will be the third on the FIVB World Tour. Agatha and Barbara scored their second win (2-0, 24-22, 21-19 in 53) minutes over Fernanda and Lima two weeks ago in the semi-finals of United States Grand Slam in the St. Petersburg, Fla. Later in the day on June 21, Agatha and Barbara posted a 2-0 (23-21, 21-19) gold medal win in 61 minutes over Antonelli and Juliana.

With the 2015 FIVB World Championships being the 285th FIVB World Tour event for women since the start of the international circuit in 1992, Brazil is now guaranteed its 143rd gold medal. The South American country has now advanced two teams to the FIVB gold medal match 54 times, including three-straight times. If Antonelli and Juliana win the bronze medal match over the Germans Saturday, the Brazilians will be assured of their 23rd podium sweep.


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