Olsztyn, Poland, August 29, 2015 – Larissa Franca and birthday girl Talita Antunes won a fifth gold medal of the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season when they defeated Marleen van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink in the Olsztyn Grand Slam gold medal match on Saturday.
The Brazilians repeated their Moscow Grand Slam victory over the Dutch duo with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) victory.
“She has given me a wonderful gift,” Talita said. “It was a beautiful match and we played so well and with our heart. I’m so happy with this present.”
“The Dutch are a tough team and they always fight hard in their games,” Larissa said. “Today I think me and Talita stuck together well. It has been a long season and today was a special day for us because we have now won five this season.”
The Olsztyn gold will sit alongside their golds from the Moscow and Long Beach Grand Slam and the Porec and Gstaad Major Series tournaments from earlier in the season.
Their next stop is back home next week at the Rio de Janeiro Open, which also serves as a test event for the Rio de Janeiro 2016, Olympic Games.
With less than a year until Rio 2016 begins Larissa and Talita face stiff competition from world champions Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas and former partners Juliana Felisberta and Maria Antonelli for the two places on Copacabana Beach.
“We are going home after a long season and it will be beautiful to play in Rio,” Talita said. “One year before Rio 2016, we want to be there.”
Van Iersel and Meppelink were unable to end their wait for a World Tour gold after previously winning two silvers and a one bronze in 2015.
"This sucks,” van Iersel said. “We had some starting problems in the first set. They were playing very well. In the second set we were able to play our own game. We did create some opportunities, but we didn't finish them, so that sucks.
"It was a closer game than Moscow. If we play our level, like here in the second set, we can really give them a hard time and create opportunities."
Home delights for Kolosinska and Brzostek
Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek delighted the Olsztyn centre court crowd when they won their first ever World Tour medals with bronze.
The two 23-year-olds defeated Dutch qualifiers Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) to serve notice of their potential.
“We focused on van der Vlist all match because she is less experienced,” Brzostek said. “It is amazing to win our first Grand Slam medal in front of friends and family, it makes it really special.”
For all the Olsztyn Grand Slam news and results, click here