Olsztyn, Poland, June 18, 2016 - For the second-straight week on the FIVB World Tour, the women’s gold medal match will feature a Brazil vs. Germany match-up as Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst from the European country continued their winning ways here Saturday morning in the US$800,000 Olsztyn Grand Slam.
The third-seeded Ludwig and Walkenhorst will have a different opponent from the South American country in the Olsztyn Grand Slam as Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca will be on the other side of the net in the Saturday women’s finale on the Crooked Lake center court behind the Hotel Omega.
The Olsztyn Grand Slam gold medal match will be the fourth FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with the Germans holding a 2-1 edge. Talita and Larissa won the last match with Ludwig and Walkenhorst as the two teams played for the gold medal last October at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States with the Brazilians posting a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) win in 39 minutes.
With the Olsztyn Grand Slam being the 307th FIVB World Tour event for women since the start of competition in 1992, Sunday’s finale will be the 18th gold medal meeting between the two countries with Brazil leading 13-4. The two countries have combined for 161 women’s gold medals with Brazilians capturing 151 of the titles. On the men’s side of the competition where FIVB-sanctioned events started in 1987, Brazil has a 20-8 gold medal match edge over Germany.
Ludwig and Walkenhorst, who downed Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil for the smart Major Hamburg gold medal last Saturday, advanced to the Olsztyn Grand Slam finals with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win in 34 minutes over ninth-seeded qualifiers Eduarda Lisboa and Elize Maia of Brazil.
17-year old Brazilian Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa attacks against Germany in Saturday's first semi-final match.
It was the second win in as many FIVB meetings between the two teams as Ludwig and Walkenhorst has previously defeated the Brazilians in a gold medal match last October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Germans are undefeated in three gold medal matches this season and have a 5-3 record in FIVB World Tour finals.
Talita and Larissa, the defending Olsztyn Grand Slam champions, advanced to their 14th FIVB World Tour gold medal match with a 2-0(21-16, 21-19) win in 34minutes over 23rd-seeded Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova of the Slovak Republic. The Brazilians have now won all three of their FIVB matches with Dubovcova and Nestarcova, who were playing in their first world tour semi-final since July 2014.
Ludwig has played Talita and Larissa in another gold medal match in Poland as she and Julia Sude dropped the 2014 Stare Jablonki finale to the Brazilians. Sude was filling in for Walkenhorst as she recovered from back problems. Last August on the Crooked Lake center court, Talita and Larissa defeated Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands in the gold medal match as Ludwig and Walkenhorst placed ninth.
Overall, Larissa has won seven gold medals in Poland, including five with Juliana Felisberta in Warsaw (2007) and Stare Jablonki (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012). Talita reached the Stare Jablonki podium three times with bronze medal finishes with Maria Antonelli (2009, 2010 and 2011).