Agatha and Duda keep Brazil at the top in Cancun

CANCUN, México, April 27, 2021 - The second women’s tournament of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour at the Cancun Hub ended in the same way the first one did, with a Brazilian team standing on top of the podium at the Playa Delfines.


If last week Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima took the title, this time it was Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Agatha Bednarczuk and two-time World Tour Most Outstanding Player Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa, who took their country to the top with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) gold medal match win against Russians Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina.


“Agatha was incredible today,” Duda analysed. “She was very aggressive from the first side out and she was the best player in the match. It makes me really happy that we got to be on the podium for the third tournament in a row, it’s really important for us and shows our evolution.”


The result rewards the impressive consistency the Brazilians have been showing at the start of the international season as they are the only team to collect medals in all three 4-star events played so far following third-place finishes at both last month’s Katara Cup in Doha and the first event in Cancun last week.


“It feels amazing,” the 37-year-old Agatha reacted. “We were chasing this gold medal after taking bronze in the first two events. We wanted so much to be at the top of the podium. We are mentally exhausted because we got to play every day in each of the two tournaments and now we need a couple of days off to recover for the third one because every time we step on the court we’re hungry to get another medal.”


Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman, who won the first 4-star tournament of the year, in Doha, last month, returned to the podium after finishing ninth last week in Cancun. The two defeated Dutch veterans Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) to take bronze in Mexico.


“I think we had some tough serving and we experimented a lot on defence and we found a couple of things that worked a little bit,” the 31-year-old Klineman explained. “But mostly, it was about staying tough and staying together. It’s really hard to play in this heat and much more against a really good team like that, so we just did the best we could.”


A two-time Olympic medallist, the 38-year-old Ross is excited about the team’s form three months before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.


“That’s an amazing start of the season,” she said. “This was a really, really hard medal to win, this bronze right here. In this atmosphere, with the wind and the heat, I think it’s a pretty good finish. We’re looking to improve next week but I’m very happy with this performance.”


The third and final event of the Cancun Hub starts on Tuesday with country quota matches for teams from Brazil and the United States. The qualification tournament will be played on Wednesday and the main draw will run until Sunday, the day on which the medal matches will be played.