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2018-01-29 09:57:00 CET

The Mammoth’s back with a bang!

Sidelined at the end of 2017, Alison claimed gold with Bruno in the first tournament after his return

The Olympic champ made a victorious return to the sand this weekendThe Olympic champ made a victorious return to the sand this weekend

Watch out Fort Lauderdale… The Mammoth is back! After missing the last two events of the Brazilian Beach Volleyball Tour in 2017, Olympic champion Alison Cerutti returned in brilliant form as he and partner Bruno Schmidt won the Fortaleza stop of the tournament last weekend.

Alison, 32, was sidelined in the final months of 2017 because of an overuse injury and has played his first tournament since September in Fortaleza. In the gold medal match, he and Bruno defeated the reigning world champions Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola in straight sets, 21-18, 24-22.

“It feels great to return winning,” Alison said after the game. “I had to stop training for three months and I was already missing all of this. To be in the court, win a tough game against a team that is already part of history and feel I’m still among the best is great.”

DE VOLTA AO TOPO! Alison e Bruno Schmidt (ES/DF) subiram no degrau mais alto do pódio no Open de Fortaleza (CE) do Circuito Brasileiro de Vôlei de Praia 17/18. Em uma final eletrizante eles venceram André e Evandro (ES/RJ) por 2 sets a 0 (21/18 e 24/22). O bronze ficou com Guto e Vítor Felipe (RJ/PB). #BBNosEsportes #MeuLugarAoSol

2,129 Likes, 15 Comments - Conf. Brasileira de Voleibol (@cbvolei) on Instagram: "DE VOLTA AO TOPO! Alison e Bruno Schmidt (ES/DF) subiram no degrau mais alto do pódio no Open de..."

Vitor Felipe and Guto Carvalhes finished third by default, as the bronze medal match wasn’t played due to an injury of Bruno de Paula, the teammate of Thiago Barbosa.

Meanwhile, in the women’s tournament, Maria Elisa Antonelli and Carol Solberg extended their good form to claim gold after a three-set (15-21, 21-10, 15-13) victory over World Tour Finals silver medalists Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa.

The winning duo advanced to the gold medal match in the last five tournaments they played and topped the podium in back-to-back events in the Brazilian Tour following a win in Itapema last November.

“This final was a real mental test for us,” said Carol. “We didn’t start well and we were struggling with serving and siding out. We were patient to try things out and figure out what would work against a very good team and that makes me very happy.”

Ponto final da decisão do título do #OpenFortaleza do #CircuitoBrasileiro vitória de @carolsolbergemariaelisa #BBnosesportes #MeuLugarAoSol

928 Likes, 6 Comments - Conf. Brasileira de Voleibol (@cbvolei) on Instagram: "Ponto final da decisão do título do #OpenFortaleza do #CircuitoBrasileiro vitória de..."

Taiana Lima and her temporary partner, Germany’s Julia Sude, who replaced the injured Elize Maia, won bronze in their first time they played together following a three-set (21-12, 18-21, 15-9) victory over Rebecca Silva and Ana Patricia Ramos.

The Fortaleza event was the fourth of the seven scheduled for the 2017/2018 Brazilian Tour. After the first three tournaments, Evandro and Andre lead among the men while Maria Antonelli and Carol top the women’s rankings. The fifth stop will be played in João Pessoa between February 20 and 25, only a few days before the Fort Lauderdale Major.

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