Beach team Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) and Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) celebrated Canada Day in style by winning the gold medal at the Porec Major on the FIVB Beach World Tour today.
The Canadians beat the Czech Republic’s Barbora Hermannová and Marketa Sluková 2-1 (32-34, 21-12, 15-6) to clinch their first gold medal as a team on the international beach volleyball tour (Pavan had previously picked up silver in 2015 and 2016 at Porec with Heather Bansley; and a silver this year in Rio with Humana-Paredes).
The first set was a barnburner. Both teams traded match points before Hermannová and Sluková edged two points ahead to take it 34-32. In the second set, Pavan used her height and reach to her advantage at the net, denying Hermannová and Sluková any advantage.
The confidence the Canadians took from winning the second set continued in the third and final set. Sarah and Melissa took an early lead and never looked back to clinch gold.
“It was very emotional, I started crying at the end,” said Pavan, a 2016 Olympian. “Mel and I have just come together as a team but we’ve both wanted gold for so long that doing it as a team is an amazing feeling.
“To do it on Canada Day makes it perfect.”
Said Humana-Paredes: “It’s indescribable. When you dream of something and you finally achieve it, it is the best feeling ever and you want to do it again.”
Joining the finalists on the podium were Tanja Hüberli and Nina Betschart, who claimed the bronze medal. The Swiss pair beat Brazil’s Bárbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves in straight sets 21-14, 21-19.
Tomorrow the action continues as the Poreč Major with the men’s semi-finals and final.
Report by www.swatchmajorseries.com