Felisberta & França Survive China to Claim Bronze at the London Games

London Olympics 2012

Talk about a bronzetastic comeback…

Juliana Felisberta and Larissa França staged an electrifying comeback at the 2012 Olympic Games to claim the bronze in women’s beach volleyball on Wednesday after being thisclose to defeat.

Juliana Felisberta & Larissa França

The 29-year-old Felisberta and 30-year-old França—Brazil’s great hope for the gold on the imported sands at Horse Guards Parade prior to the start of the London Games—managed to turn the beach around to beat China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi after being within two points of losing the match and ending their Olympic run off the medal stand completely.

The Chinese duo looked unstoppable at the beginning of the match, winning the first set 21-11 and taking an early lead in the second set. But Felisberta and França, the reigning world champions, managed to dig their way back into the match.

Juliana Felisberta & Larissa França

Xue and Zhang led 19-17 but the Brazilian duo didn’t panic. Instead, they clawed their way back and eventually clinched the second set 21-19.

Felisberta and França held onto a narrow lead in the third set, with the Chinese team mounting powerful attacks until the end. The Brazilian pair finally nailed the set and the match 15-12.

Juliana Felisberta & Larissa França

Felisberta and França had arrived in London as the favorites, but their golden dreams were dashed on Tuesday when they were upset in the semifinals by Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross.