Hamburg, Germany, August 11, 2018 – The beach volleyball elite is set to reunite again in Hamburg as the city hosts the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone for the second straight year and while most of the athletes competing in the women’s event will be making their return to the German harbour city, Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado will have their first shot at the most coveted title of the 2017-2018 season.
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The Brazilians are set to play in their first-ever edition of the World Tour Finals and if their accomplishment seems natural considering their performance in 2018, the scenario was not the same when the veterans, who combine for 291 World Tour appearances, decided to join forces in May 2017.
After Carolina decided to leave Olympic medallist Juliana Felisberta to join Antonelli, who had split with Carol Horta after just two international events together, the new team had to face a tough reality, playing in five straight Brazilian country quotas.
Despite the challenge, Carolina and Antonelli registered some good finishes, such as the gold medal in The Hague and the fifth-place at the World Championships, and positioned themselves in a better spot for 2018.
In the current year, the Brazilians have been a model of consistency, collecting top-ten finishes in all but one of the 11 World Tour tournaments they played at, including three silver medals and a couple of fourth-place finishes. They were also the Brazilian champions in the 2017-2018 season.
“We’ve been one of the most consistent teams in the world this season and we want to show that in the big tournaments too,” the 34-year-old Antonelli, a London 2012 Olympian, said. “We got pretty good support in all areas we need and an amazing coach. Everything we’ve accomplished is the result of a lot of hard work, but we have big goals and will keep working.”
Carolina and Antonelli will be one of the two Brazilian teams competing at the World Tour Finals – joining last year’s silver medallists Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa.
The other eight teams to play at the Rothenbaum from August 15-19 are Czech Republic’s Barbora Hermannova/Markita Slukova, Canada’s Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson and Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan, Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar/Taliqua Clancy, Germany’s Julia Sude/Chantal Laboureur and Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider, the Netherlands’ Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink and USA’s Summer Ross/Sara Hughes.
Carolina and Maria Antonelli will play in the World Tour Finals for the first time