Four years after they were golden at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan defeated their Australian rivals Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy in a tie-break set at the women’s beach volleyball final. The score was 22-24, 21-17,15-12, delighting the crowds at the Smithfield venue in Birmingham, England.
“A second Commonwealth gold medal, it’s a great feeling,” said Kitchener, Ontario’s Pavan. “It was a much better performance on our side than yesterday (in the semi-final). It’s nice to walk away with a gold medal for Canada and this has just been an incredible experience.”
Said Humana-Paredes of Toronto: “This medal holds a lot of weight for me. It’s been four years and a lot can change, so the fact that we could execute another gold-medal performance is rare and very special. … I think this represents a lot of work and it’s for Team Canada!”
Earlier in the day, the Canadian men’s team took silver after an exciting three-set contest, also with Australia.
Sam Schachter (Richmond Hill, ON) and Dan Dearing (Toronto) were finally beaten in extra points by Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett 1-2 (21-17, 17-21, 18-20).
“Both teams played at an incredibly high level – each team had rhythm at different points in the match…,” said Sam Schachter of Richmond Hill, ON, who also won silver at the Gold Coast Games, but with previous partner Sam Pedlow. “There were a couple of different things that I wish I could have changed, but overall I’m pretty impressed with how we played. We were resilient.”
The pair had gone undefeated up until today’s final. England won men’s bronze, which was the first Commonwealth beach volleyball medal ever for this host nation. Vanuatu won the women’s bronze match over New Zealand.