Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa finished their five-year partnership on top of the podium at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour four-star event in Itapema on Sunday. It was an emotional and successful farewell for the Brazilians, who had been paired together for the previous four years.
In their last play together, the global ranking leaders and Olympians from Tokyo upset compatriots Taiana Lima and Hegeile ‘Hege’ Almeida in the two-set gold medal competition that was a treat for the Brazilian fans who were at the Meia Praia Beach. The score of the match was 25-22 and 21-13.
According to what Duda had to say, “I’m extremely delighted that we could conclude our partnership like this.” Since this was going to be our team’s final competition, we wanted to go out on a high note. It was a fitting conclusion for our squad’s efforts. Agatha was incredibly helpful to us today because she was always in communication, and that allowed us to make the necessary adjustments.
Agatha, now 38 years old, and Duda, then 23 years old, finished their time competing together with a total of 23 medals won throughout 42 international competitions after claiming victory in their final competition together. There were eight gold medals among those totals, with the most notable triumphs coming at the 2018 World Tour Finals in Hamburg and the 2019 Olympic test event in Tokyo respectively. In addition to that, they won 15 events on the Brazilian Tour and became the national champions in the season that took place in 2020-2021.
In the Brazilian championship match, Duda hit a shot that went around Hege’s block.
Agatha’s response was that she and her partner’s collaboration had begun with a gold medal on the Brazilian Tour, and that they had hoped that it would also conclude with a gold medal. “We were incredibly strong; even when one of us was having some difficulty, the other was succeeding, which allowed us to stay in the game even when we were falling behind.” Additionally, our side-out was always turned on, which was a huge benefit.
Today is a highly significant day for our squad since it will be the last time that we compete together as a unit. To be able to accomplish it in front of such incredible fans right here in Itapema was absolutely incredible.
Agatha has not yet decided who she will play with on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour in 2022
In contrast to Duda, who has officially stated that she will be teaming up with another Olympian from Tokyo named Ana Patricia Ramos. After the Itapema gold medal match, she stated unequivocally that she will carry on playing, but she is still on the hunt for prospective new teammates.
With their victory in the bronze medal match against Taina Bigi and Victoria Lopes in three sets (9-21, 21-18, 15-9), Americans Terese Cannon and Sara Hughes prevented an all-Brazilian sweep of the medals on the podium.
It was Cannon’s fourth medal on the World Tour (and his first in a four-star event), and it was Hughes’ sixth medal overall. The 26-year-old defender made her return to the podium in an event of this level for the first time since October 2018, when she and her previous partner Summer Ross won bronze in Yangzhou.
Cannon attributed their victory to a simple shift in their attention, saying, “I guess we just refocused.” “On our end, we took care of a few items that needed to be addressed, and we continued to be aggressive.” We were performing in front of the most incredible audience in the history of the planet, and we wanted to put on a show for them so badly that we wanted to go to three. After such a hard season, we are looking forward to having some time off to relax and recharge our batteries. With a bronze medal, this was a really fantastic way to wrap things up, and we’re really enthusiastic for what the future holds.”
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