Former world champion pair bow out with victory

2012-12-10 01:15:12 GMT2012-12-10 09:15:12(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Six-time beach volleyball world tour winners Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta marked the end of their nine-year partnership on Sunday with victory in their final match together.

The 2011 world champions and London Games bronze medalists overcame compatriots Karin Rodrigues and Shaylyn Bede 21-15, 16-21, 15-12 to claim third place overall in the sixth stage of Brazil's national circuit in Rio.

"I'm feeling a combination of emotions," Franca said. "It's sad to end this partnership which has achieved so much. But I'm also happy to have made a decision that I am certain is right. It won't change anything about our place in history."

Felisberta said Franca had been a role model throughout their time together, but admitted she was already focused on continuing her career with Maria Elisa Antonelli next year.

"It has been a great period. We suffered together, grew together and overcame all of our difficulties," Felisberta said. "We had a lot of wonderful moments and unforgettable victories.

"I learnt a lot with Larissa and I'm going to take that knowledge with me in both my career and personal life. Now I want to make the most of the end of the season by resting and recharging my batteries to start a new chapter."

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