July 18 - Juliana Da Silva and Larissa França geared up for London 2012 with victory over their Chinese rivals Chen Xue and Xi Zhang at the World Beach Volleyball Tour Grand Slam event in Berlin.
It was a comfortable victory in the end for the Brazilian duo, winning by two sets 21-16, 21-18.
Chen and Zhang struggled to impose themselves in a game controlled throughout by the Brazilians, for whom the victory was a huge boost in their preparations for the Olympics.
"It was great to win in Berlin," França (pictured top) was quoted as saying by Globo.
"Xue and Zhang Xi had already won three stages of the World Tour, are leading the way, and this further enhances what we did today.
"To win so close to the Olympics is something that always inspires.
"We will continue working hard to arrive in London at our best."
Chen and Zhang were bronze medallists in 2008 and look set to lead the Chinese charge for glory in London this summer.
"Xue and Zhang Xi never give you an easy victory," added Da Silva.
"They sought a reaction to the end but were very good in every way."
Thoughts for the pair now turn to Austria, the next leg of the tour, and the final stage before the Olympics in London begin.
The world champions will also face tough competition from American pair Kerri Walsh and Misty-May Treanor, who are aiming for a third successive Olympic gold.
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