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Cope and Alfaro capture Women’s Beach Gold


MANAGUA, Nicaragua, December 8, 2017. - Karen Cope and Natalia Alfaro of Costa Rica captured the women’s gold medal of the eleventh Central American Games Managua 2017 defeating Kathya Vasquez and Maria Fernanda Vargas of El Salvador at the beach volleyball court Salvador Allende.


Karen and Natalia’s well organized strategy and skillful performance prevailed without setbacks over Kathya and Maria Fernanda 2-0 (21-13, 21-15). The Olympic duo of Karen and Natalia showed their experience over the young team from El Salvador.


Kathya and Maria Fernanda never stopped trying to keep on Karen and Natalia’s rhythm, but their efforts came on short.


This is Costa Rica’s second consecutive gold medal, for a total of three since beach volleyball was included in the Games; in 2001 Costa Rica won the silver medal. This is Natalia’s second gold medal and the first for Karen in beach volleyball; she previously won two gold medals in volleyball.


Natalia was pleased to say that this victory comes as a gift in such difficult moments “first of all we dedicate this medal to Ingrid Morales, she has gone the extra mile to support us, we hope she keeps on adding more victories for Costa Rica. Our budget was cut off this year and we struggled a lot to keep on practicing; we have our own jobs during the day and we had to practice at nights. I am very excited to win a second consecutive gold medal; it’s not easy to keep in shape”.


Karen fell into tears “it’s a different feeling to win in beach volleyball; we have sacrificed a lot of things. It is really satisfying”.


In the bronze medal match, hosts Swan Mendoza and Lolette Rodriguez stormed past Paola Alvarado and Estephany Bethancourt of Guatemala 2-0 (21-9, 21-14). Swan and Lolette’s performance was firm, managing to keep the Guatemalan duo with little options to recover.


Swan won the silver medal for Nicaragua in the past edition of the Games, the first for her country; and after winning the first bronze for Nicaragua she said “I thank God to give these medals to my country. It’s not the medal we were aiming for and not the one we worked so hard to win; I am not pleased but I’m happy with the bronze because we add to the general medal counting and we reached the podium”.

Final Standing: 1. Karen Cope/Natalia Alfaro (CRC); 2. Kathya Váquez/María Fernanda Vargas (ESA); 3. Swan Mendoza/Lolette Rodríguez (NCA); 4. Paola Alvarado/Estephany Bethancourt (GUA); 5. Jarisa Hynds/Christianne Etches (HON); 6. Stiphany Lezcano/Keysi Caballero (PAN).


Women’s Results Friday December 8:

5-6: Jarisa Hynds/Christianne Etches (HON) d Stiphany Lezcano/Keysi Caballero (PAN) 2-0 (21-9, 21-10); Bronze Medal Match: Swan Mendoza/Lolette Rodríguez (NCA) d Paola Alvarado/Estephany Bethancourt (GUA) 2-0 (21-9, 21-14); Gold Medal Match: Karen Cope/Natalia Alfaro (CRC); Kathya Váquez/María Fernanda Vargas (ESA) 2-0 (21-12, 21-15).