2018-08-19 15:00:00 CEST
Agatha & Duda lift their first World Tour Finals title
Brilliant Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa Santos upgraded last season’s silver medal to a gold one as the Brazilians took the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals crown in Hamburg.
The World’s number one team were too strong for Czech stars Barbora Hermannová and Marketa Sluková, winning 21-15, 21-19 to take the title and the biggest winners’ check in beach volleyball history, 150,000 US Dollars.
Having lost in last year’s final to German heroes Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, the victory was even sweeter for 35-year-old Agatha and her partner, the rising star Duda, 20, who became the youngest ever World Tour Finals champion.
The final lived up to its billing as a clash of the titans – both teams sit at number one and two in the world rankings – but tournament comeback queens Bara and Maki could not stop the Brazilians from going one better after their silver 12 months ago.
“Coming to the venue this morning we thought it was another opportunity for us to win here after getting silver last year,” Agatha said afterwards. “For me, the tournament was a lot harder than last year. We had to play high level teams all the time and every game was hard in its own way. I’m so proud of my team and my young partner.”
In the bronze medal match there was happiness for Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar following their 21-15, 19-21, 15-8 victory over Maria Antonelli and Carol Solberg of Brazil. The Aussies were almost in tears after letting a third-set lead slip in the semifinals, but were all smiles after securing their seventh medal of the season.
Wow - what a way to end the #HamburgFinals Women's competition! Huge congrats to this year's champs, Brazil's @timeagathaeduda 🇧🇷🏆🥇 Watch all the action again on https://t.co/fNOnYcUZe9 https://t.co/M4FhviIRMX
The sand has now settled on the 2018 season but there’s no rest for the wicked for the beach elite, as qualification for the Tokyo Olympics begins on September 1. The 2019 campaign will again see beach volleyball drop anchor in Hamburg for the Beach Volleyball World Championships – with the winners guaranteeing their federation a place in the Japanese capital in 2020.