Brazil wins women's beach volleyball bronze

By Jimmy Golen

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8 2012 2:10 p.m. MDT

Brazil's Juliana Silva reacts during the women's bronze medal beach volleyball match against China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London.

Petr David Josek, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

LONDON — Brazil's Juliana and Larissa won the bronze medal in women's beach volleyball on Wednesday night, rallying from a first-set loss to beat China 11-21, 21-19, 15-12.

Brazil is the top-seeded team in the world, as it was in 2008 before Juliana withdrew three days before the competition with a knee injury. Larissa played with a substitute and finished tied for fifth.

The Brazilians assured themselves two medals in London. Emanuel and Alison are in the men's gold medal match and guaranteed at least silver. Brazil has never won fewer than two medals since the sport joined the Olympics in 1996.

Later Wednesday, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor were scheduled to play for the gold medal against fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross.

The Chinese won the first set 21-11 in a scant 17 minutes, then took the lead 19-16 in the second to move two points away from victory. Brazil won five consecutive points to take the set and even the match, and Juliana celebrated by running from the net to the end line and spraying sand onto the cameramen and photographers beyond the boards.

Brazil opened a 6-2 lead in the third set and led 13-9 before China cut the deficit to two points and Brazil called a timeout. The Brazilians moved one point from victory when Zhang spiked it long. After one match-point save, Larissa poked it to the corner of the court for the victory.

The Chinese pair split up after the Beijing Games but reunited in 2010 for another Olympic run.

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