Vitor Renato

Vitor and Renato will play in the main draw in Itapema after losing in qualifiers in Sochi and Ostrava (Photo: Wander Roberto/Inovafoto/CBV)

Granted a wild card for this week’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 4-star event in Itapema, Vitor Felipe and Renato Andrew will enter the tournament in great form after they won the fourth stop of the 2021 Brazilian Tour at the same location on Sunday. Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas prevailed among the women.

Vitor and Renato have been the most solid team in the Brazilian domestic season, having won three gold and won bronze medals in four events. This week, they defeated both of the country’s new teams, Alison Cerutti/Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhes in the two-set (21-19, 21-13) semifinal and Evandro Goncalves/Alvaro Filho in a three-setter (21-16, 13-21, 15-13), to step on to the top of the podium.

“I was always very confident about our potential as a team, but didn’t expect things would happen so fast for us,” Vitor commented. “We practised together before becoming partners and that helped with our chemistry, but there was a lot of work, on and off the court, for us to be where we are. We really wanted to be here and are really happy with everything that’s happening.”

Back-to-back defending Brazilian champions Andre Loyola and George Wanderley finished third in Itapema after they downed Alison and Guto 2-0 (23-21, 21-16) in the bronze medal match.

In the women’s tournament, Carol and Barbara became the fourth different team to secure a title in the season after they defeated Olympians Talita Antunes and Rebecca Cavalcanti in the three-set (21-16, 11-21, 15-11) gold medal match in Itapema on Saturday.

Barbara Carol

Barbara and Carol celebrate their first victory together on the Brazilian Tour (Photo: Wander Roberto/Inovafoto/CBV)

The team had made it to the final in each of the three first events of the season, but were yet to emerge victorious. The win gave the veterans a boost ahead of this week’s World Tour event as they are set to compete in Wednesday’s qualifier.

“After missing out in three finals, we really wanted to win it this time,” Barbara, a Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist, said. “The level is really high, so we need to remain focused the entire time. I think this week we did this and were able to play at our best from start to finish. We need to keep this mindset for the World Tour event and start strong from the qualifier.”

World ranking leaders Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa collected bronze as they defeated Andressa Cavalcanti and Vitoria Rodrigues in straight sets (23-21, 21-12).

The ending of the five-event 2021 Brazilian Tour season will take place in Cuiaba, from December 1-5.

Several international teams that are set to compete in this week’s World Tour event appeared in the Brazilian Tour event in Itapema, with Norway’s Hendrik Mol/Mathias Berntsen and Argentina’s Ana Gallay/Fernanda Pereyra finishing ninth in the men’s and women’s tournament respectively. Other teams that also played in the event were France’s Youssef Krou/Quincy Aye and Lezana Placette/Alexia Richard, Norway’s Sunniva Helland-Hansen/Emilie Olimstad, Chile’s Noe Aravena/Vicente Droguett and Argentina’s Maia Najul/Cecilia Peralta.

Mol Bernstein

Mol and Berntsen in action against Evandro and Alvaro (Photo: Wander Roberto/Inovafoto/CBV)