2017-06-20 12:06:00 CEST
Fort Lauderdale Major champs eyeing podium return
Brazilians Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca are on a mission to return to the Poreč Major podium next week.
The sensational Croatian tournament returns with a bang with a whole host of beach volleyball stars bidding to win gold on the shores of the Adriatic.
That includes Larissa and Talita, who won the first Poreč Major back in 2015 after beating Canada’s Pavan/Bansley in a gripping final.
The pair have been a force on the World Tour so far this season, winning gold medals in two of the four tournaments they competed so far, including the first Major of the year, in Fort Lauderdale.
Following a fifth place finish at the Dela Beach Open in The Hague last weekend, the tandem now focus on the Poreč Major, aiming to put behind them the disappointment of last year’s ninth place finish.
“We’re looking forward to this event. Poreč hosts a great tournament and we’ll do our best to be on the top of the podium there again,” Talita said. “It is a very nice city that really matches well with beach volleyball’s atmosphere and makes us feel more and more excited to play.”
But the good memories of the team on their next destination are not limited to the sand courts. As Talita recalls, the Poreč experience goes far beyond beach volleyball for athletes and fans.
“I remember that last year we had to take a boat to move from the center court area to the side courts and the trip was absolutely breathtaking,” the Brazilian added.
As we revealed following the confirmation of the entry list, all eyes will be on the return of Kerri Walsh Jennings in Croatia as she rekindles her partnership with Nicole Branagh.
An even though the team will start its campaign playing a country quota match against fellow Americans Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar, Larissa still considers them a big threat to her title aspirations.
“Even though it will be their first tournament together, a team that reunites two great players as them deserves our attention,” said Larissa. “American teams are always very strong and they can definitely be included among the contenders for the gold medal.”
Also in contention for the gold medal will be last year’s winners, Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude, from Germany, their compatriots and reigning Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst and 2017 World Tour ranking leaders Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa, from Brazil.
See you in Poreč!
Thank you from the heart!
Read the third installment of Ben Saxton's Swatch Major Series blog
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