FIVB World Tour Finals
Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa posted a 21-15, 21-19 win over No. 2 Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova for the FIVB World Tour Finals crown and the No. 1 world ranking on Sunday.
The victory marks the second World Tour medal for the pairing, which won silver in 2017, and the third for 35-year old Agatha, who also boasts a bronze from 2015. Alongside 20-year old Duda, Agatha has managed four podium finishes in 2018, including gold at home in Itapema (May 20), silver in Moscow (Aug. 12) and bronze in Warsaw (July 1). Out of their 11 tournaments, the pair was fifth of better nine times.
“It is a great feeling to finally win the top spot on the Hamburg podium,” Agatha said. “Duda is an amazing partner and she is so young. The win today caps a very good season for us as we prepare for the future. Our next goal is to return to Hamburg next June for the world championships. We hope we can repeat. It will be tough especially with (Germans) Laura (Ludwig) and Kira (Walkenhorst) returning to competition.”
With the gold medal comes a $150,000 purse. According to the FIVB, by virtue of her half of the winning check, Duda becomes the youngest player to be awarded a “large” paycheck at 20 years and 18 days, snapping the record set by men’s FIVB Finals champion Anders Mol (21 year, 1 month, 16 days) on Saturday night.
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 pic.twitter.com/M4FhviIRMX
— Beach Volleyball Major Series (@BeachMajors) August 19, 2018
Czechs Hermannova/Slukova came into Hamburg as the newly minted No. 1 in the world after winning the Vienna Major and finishing third at the CEV European Championships. The World Tour Finals silver is just second piece of FIVB hardware of the season for the pair.
Agatha/Duda made it to the final with a 31-29, 21-18 win over fellow Brazilians Maria Antonelli/Carol Solberg Salgado in Sunday’s first semifinal. Hermannova/Slukova rallied past seventh-seeded Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar/Taliqua Clancy 13-21, 21-19, 17-15 to earn their spot in the championship.
In the bronze medal match, Artacho del Solar/Clancy held on for the 21-15, 19-21, 15-8 win. The bronze marks the sixth FIVB medal for the Aussies since October, including four golds and a bronze at the Xiamen Four Star. The duo, which also won silver at the Commonwealth Games, takes home a $50,000 check for the third-place finish. Maria Antonelli/Carol pocked $35,000 with the fourth-place effort.
“I’m so proud of what we’ve done and achieved,” Clancy said of the pairing which joined forces in October. “We set out some goals of what we wanted to achieve this year and I think we’ve actually reached all of them. I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position to start the Olympic qualification. We definitely want to be the best even though we’re in our first season, we want to be consistent and take them momentum all the way to Tokyo.”
FIVB World Tour Finals Standings
1. Agatha/Duda (Brazil) – $150,000
2. Hermannova/Slukova (Czech Republic) – $80,000
3. Artacho del Solar/Clancy (Australia) – $50,000
4. Maria Antonelli/Carol (Brazil) – $35,000
5. Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson (Canada) and Julia Sude/Chantal Laboureur (Germany) – $20,000
7. Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan (Canada) and Sara Hughes/Summer Ross (USA) – $15,000
9. Isabel Schneider/ Victoria Bieneck (Germany) and Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink (Netherlands) – $7,500