Duda and Ana Patrícia are the new best in the beach volleyball world. Twice under-19 world champions when they were still at the base and played together on the international calendar, the two jewels of Brazilian sport reached the level that was always expected of them and won, this Sunday (19), the title of the World Championship played at the Forum Italics in Rome, Italy. Now Renato and Vitor Felipe play the men’s final against Mol and Sorum, from Norway.
Considering Brazil’s history in the competition, the result is far from unusual — the country already had five titles in the women’s tournament — but after the failure of participating in the Tokyo Olympics, this gold is redemption. Last year, Duda and Ágatha arrived in Japan as favorites for gold, but fell early, in the round of 16, to a duo from Germany;
And Ana Patrícia and Rebecca, who also had great chances for a medal, stopped in the quarterfinals, for Heidrich and Vergé-Dépré, from Switzerland. The campaign called into question the level of beach volleyball in Brazil, which for the first time was left out of an Olympic podium. But now it’s clear that that was just a stumbling block.
At the end of last year, Duda, from Sergipe, who since the age of 15 has been identified as an athlete on the highest shelf of world sport, took the initiative to open the duo with veteran Ágatha, Olympic silver in 2016, and invite Ana Patrícia to be your partner again. It would be the reunion of two genius athletes who were forged to be champions, won shooting with other partnerships, and were ready to get together again.
And then it was a matter of time for things to happen. Hired by Praia Clube, from Uberlândia (MG), in a pioneering initiative among the country’s social clubs, they were in a modest fifth place in Rosarito (Mexico) in March, ninth in Ostrava (Czech Republic) in May and won their first medal. of them on the circuit in Jurmala (Latvia) at the beginning of the month, a bronze.
At the World Cup, there was none for anyone. There were eight games and eight wins, with only one set lost. Paredão, Ana Patrícia, 24, ends the competition with 36 blocks, an average of 4.5 per match, the best in the championship. In attack, Duda, 23, had the second best use of the World Cup, 62.2%.
A well-deserved title, won with a 2-0 win over the surprising Canadians Sophie Bukovec and Wilkerson Brandie, with partials of 21/17 and 21/19.
The cup ends a fast of two editions without gold in Brazil in the women’s, period in which the best result was a bronze for Larissa and Talita in 2017. The last title had been in 2015, with Ágatha and Bárbara Seixas, who would later become silver medalists at Rio-2016. In that edition, Brazil had a complete podium, with Fernanda Berti/Taiana in second and Maria Elisa/Juliana in third.
This time, despite the good moment of beach volleyball in Brazil, this was impossible due to the draw that played the four Brazilian doubles in the same quadrant of the knockout stage. Only one could make it to the semifinals, and the spot went to Duda and Ana Patrícia, who went on to win gold. On the way, they eliminated Barbara and Carol, as well as the Swiss women who were Ana Patrícia’s tormentors in Tokyo. And, when they beat Pavan/Melissa-Paredes, from Canada, they still avenged Taiana/Hegê and Rebecca/Talita, eliminated by them.