2017-08-26 15:04:00 CET
Laura and Kira triumphant again
Unbeatable Olympic and World Champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst sent their legions of fans home happy as they secured a second successive World Tour Finals title with a breath-taking victory over Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa on home sand in Hamburg.
The packed Red Bull Beach Arena crowd were on their edge of their seats throughout a dramatic 21-17, 19-21, 15-10 victory over the Brazilians to earn the Germans USD 100,000 in prize money – and the World Tour crown again, 12 months after their triumph in Toronto.
Both teams came into the final in superb form, with neither team dropping a set during the tournament. With the stadium rocking after the home team took the first set, it was a different story in the second as Agatha and Duda fought back to take the match to a decider. However, the heroes from Vienna were not to be denied and, with an incredible atmosphere behind them, Ludwig and Walkenhorst turned on the style to walk away with the trophy, the title and another gold.
“I’m speechless,” said a triumphant Ludwig. “Playing out there and winning in front of the German fans was just awesome.
“Germany loves beach volleyball and we could feel it on the court.”
Walkenhorst added: “We were happy with the way we played considering it was the first time we played them this season. Our coach said try a few different things and maybe it works and we did that.
“The crowd were amazing – today we could see the stadium packed. Thank you to everyone.”
The Brazilians also created a little bit of their own history as 19-year-old Duda became the youngest player to win a medal at the World Tour Finals.
Her partner, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Agatha, said: “We loved playing in Hamburg. The venue is amazing, the crowd were brilliant and after the Olympics I think this tournament is the most beautiful.”