Legendary Brazilian pairs win final gold medals


Two of the top teams in the chronicles posted their final gold medal wins for Brazil this week in FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour history along with four Olympians celebrating birthdays led by two-time medal winner Alison Cerutti.

Rogerio 'Para' Ferreira and Guilherme Marques won the Vitória Open on December 6, 1999 for the pair’s seventh and final FIVB World Tour gold medal. Para and Guilherme won seven World Tour titles during a two-year period highlighted by a 1997 World Championship gold medal in Los Angeles and a 1998 Goodwill Games crown in 1998 in New York’s Central Park.

Brazilian world champion Guilherme Marques at the Volleyball House during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

A year earlier up the Brazilian coast in Fortaleza on December 7, Zé Marco de Melo and Emanuel Rego won their 15th and final FIVB World Tour win for the team. The Brazilian pair was the first team to win more than 10 World Tour events together as only two pairs (Emanuel/Ricardo Santos with 33 titles and Americans Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers with 23 gold medals) have won more event crowns.

Only 21 men’s teams have won 200 or more World Tour matches with Zé Marco and Emanuel posting a 205-44 match mark together (82.3 winning percentage) while Para and Guilherme compiled 255 victories in 366 matches (69.7%). Zé Marco and Emanuel rank as the most successful FIVB team in terms of percentage of medals and final fours for World Tour events played.

Alison, who is tied for fourth for men among the top individual medal winners on the World Tour with Zé Marco with 56 podium placements, turns 35 Monday. Alison captured the gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Bruno Oscar Schmidt after collecting the silver medal with Emanuel at the London 2012 Summer Games.

Alison Cerutti of Brazil celebrates his 35th birthday this week

Joining Alison as other beach volleyball Olympians celebrating birthdays this week are Canadian Marie-Andree Lessard (43 today), Italian Annamaria Solazzi (55 Thursday) and Indonesian Timy Yudhani Rahayu (44 Friday).

After placing 13th at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics with Consuelo Turetta where the pair dropped a 17-15 side-out match to eventual silver medal winners Monica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel of Brazil, Solazzi and Laura Bruschini finished fifth at the Sydney 2000 Summer Games after being eliminated by the eventual gold medal winners Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst of Australia.

Lessard placed 19th at the London 2012 Summer Games in her final FIVB event as the pair’s three pool play setbacks were in three sets. Rahayu and Eta Kaize placed 13th at the Atlanta Summer Games and were defeated by eventual gold medal winners Sandra Pires and Jackie Silva of Brazil.

Canadian Marie-Andree Lessard (right) and her London 2012 Olympic partner Annie Martin

Here are the events played on the World Tour during the December 6-12 period in FIVB beach volleyball history.

December 6
In 1998, 'Para' and Guilherme won the Vitória Open. It was the seventh and final FIVB World Tour win for the team.

December 7
In 1997, Ze Marco and Emanuel won the Fortaleza Open. It was the 15th and final FIVB World Tour win for the team.

Brazilians Emanuel Rego (left) and Ze Marco de Melo (right) with federation representative Giovanni Marques

Quick links:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

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