Larissa & Talita ready for Vienna challenge

Vienna, Austria, July 25, 2017 – Less than one year after they left the Rio 2016 Olympic Games empty-handed, Brazilians Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes will have a good opportunity to erase their frustrations at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna.

The Brazilian duo, who lead the world ranking after winning gold medals at the Fort Lauderdale Major, at the three-star event in Moscow and in Olsztyn last weekend, are certainly among the contenders in the Austrian capital.

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“After two years of hard work, Rio was not what we expected,” Talita commented. “But now it’s a new year and we are thinking about the World Championship, which is the most important tournament of the season. We have prepared step-by-step, tournament-by-tournament, playing together and enjoying ourselves.”

A world champion in 2011 alongside former partner Juliana Felisberta, Larissa wants to return to the top of the podium, this time with Talita, who has a bronze in 2009 with Maria Antonelli as her best result in the event. The team competed together only once, in the 2015 edition of the tournament, but finished 9th in the Netherlands.

“It would be special to win it again,” said Larissa. “This is the tournament every athlete wants to compete in. I’ve already tasted the feeling of winning the World Championship once and I hope we can do our best. I’m pretty confident that if we do what we know and play as a team and with joy we have a good shot of getting the gold medal.”

Another source of motivation to the Brazilians will be the passionate Austrian fans, known world-wide for their enthusiasm in the stands. With top international beach volleyball coming for the first time to Vienna, the players cannot wait to feel the energy coming from the 10,000-seat Centre Court.

“We’re ready for an amazing tournament,” Larissa added. “We’ve played in Klagenfurt several times and I always couldn’t wait to play in the Centre Court there, where there was such a special energy. We hope the same happens in Vienna as the atmosphere really helps up to have fun on the court.”

Larissa and Talita were drawn in Pool A of the tournament where they will face Germany’s Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider, USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings/Nicole Branagh and Austria’s Teresa Strauss/Katharina Holzer. The Brazilians will debut against the home team on July 29.


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