Golden fairytale for World Champions Mel and Sarah

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Canadians confirm status as best of the beach with Vienna Major gold

Beach volleyball World Champions Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan underlined their status as the best team on the sand right now as they waltzed to A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch glory on Sunday.

The Canadians, who took home the top prize from the World Championships in Hamburg last month, continued their red-hot form to beat Brazil’s Carol Solberg Salgado and Maria Antonelli in the gold medal match, winning 21-19, 21-16 to lift a third FIVB World Tour title of the season.

Melissa and Sarah fought back in the first set having trailed by four points at one stage to take a decisive lead and that confidence was taken into the second which was soon wrapped up to confirm a sixth successive win in front of a packed Red Bull Beach Arena crowd.

After winning the World Championships and their home event in Edmonton, the Canadians were thrilled to add the Vienna Major gold to their growing list of achievements after previously winning Major titles in Gstaad and Poreč.

“To win it today, in this beautiful stadium in the beautiful weather is a fairytale ending for sure,” said defender Humana-Paredes. “I’m not sure when what we have accomplished will sink in. In the last six weeks we haven’t had much of a chance to think about what we’ve done. Now we can celebrate with our loved ones, take a break for our mind, body and soul and be proud of everything.”

Sarah, who dominated at the net throughout the tournament – even successfully landing a block point with her head in the final – echoed her teammate’s thoughts.

“We got better and better as the tournament went on,” said the blocker.

“The women’s field is so deep that winning a gold medal is tough. After a six-week stretch playing and to win three gold medals and completing our Major Series trifecta, it doesn’t get much better.”

Losing finalists Maria and Carol, who were also silver medalists in Gstaad were honored to have reached another Major final.

“Right now it feels great to have these silver medal around our necks,” Carol said. “To play a final in this crowded stadium was a real privilege.

“It’s been long six weeks on the road for us and to come to the last tournament and to be able to go all the way from the qualification to the final, it’s amazing. I feel we didn’t play at our best against the Canadians but they deserve all the credits for it.”

Brazil were guaranteed a second medal as two teams from the South American powerhouse went head-to-head in the bronze medal match on Saturday. After a rain delay, it was Ágatha Bednarczuk and Duda Santos Lisboa that eventually came out on top beating Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima to clinch their fourth medal of the 2019 season.

The climax to the men’s tournament takes place later on Sunday with the two semi-finals before the gold medal at 6pm CEST.

Vienna Major 2019
July 31 – August 4
#ViennaMajor

www.BeachMajorSeries.com

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