Larnaka, Cyprus, July 31, 2016 – Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Victoria Lopes Pereira were crowned queens of the beach at the U19 FIVB World Championships on Sunday. The Brazilian teenagers overpowered Nika Daalderop and Mexime van Driel 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) in the final on Finikoudes beach in Larnaka.
The 17-year old Duda claimed the U19 title for the third time in a row. She won the event in 2013 in Porto with Taina Silva and in 2014 with Andressa Cavalcanti, also in Porto.
Brazil’s most talented youth player also holds the U21 title with Ana Patricia Silva (Lucerne, 2016) and won silver at the U23 with Thais Rodrigues (Myslowice, 2013). She also claimed two gold medals on the FIVB World Tour this year and a silver and a bronze last year with Elize Maia.
On Monday Duda will turn 18 and she couldn’t be happier with this early birthday gift from her partner and best friend Victoria, who recently moved in with Duda and her family. “This is perfect”, Duda said. “I don’t have words to describe this. It’s my third U19 title and the last one.”
Duda treasures each and every medal she won so far, but this one is special. “Every medal has a different sentiment for me, but this one is very special for me, because of Victoria. She lives with my family, and me she moved in with us, so she is like my adopted sister. So this is like a family medal.”
A double gift for both of them, Victoria added. “Because I wanted this so bad and I also wanted to help Duda win her third title.” The 16-year old shook off the nerves she felt in the semifinal versus USA’s Milica Mirkovic and Kathryn Plummer (21-16, 19-21, 15-10) and played with a lot more confidence.
“I felt more comfortable”, she agreed. “Besides that it was not as hot anymore as in the semifinal. And the pressure was off a bit, because this morning I wanted to be in the final so bad.”
The Brazilian girls played aggressively and kept pushing the Dutch, speeding up the game with attacks in two and shots to the back. “I played against Nika at the U21”, said Duda. “She is a good player, so our tactic was to go for the other girl. And we played a fast pace because we didn’t want Nika to get into the game.”
The tactic worked, the Dutch girls couldn’t get a grip on the match and most of the time couldn’t get a clean hit because of the serving pressure. “They were a size too big”, admitted Van Driel. “But we didn’t play our best either.”
The Dutch played their first FIVB event and for Van Driel this is actually her first international medal. Daalderop already won two gold medals at the CEV U20 in 2015 and 2016 with Joy Stubbe.USA takes the bronze
Milica Mirkovic and 2014 U17 world champion Kathryn Plummer claimed the bronze medal with an easy 2-0 (21-10, 21-15) over Brazil’s Vitoria De Souza Rodrigues and Ana Carolina de Almeida Costa.
The Americans set aside their disappointment over losing to Duda and Victoria in the semifinal and came out playing strong.
“It was tough losing to such a good team”, said 17-year old Mirkovic, who crowned her FIVB debut with a bronze medal. “But when it’s such a big tournament you have to realize you just don’t play for yourself and your partner. You’re playing for something bigger. You’re playing for your coach and for your country.”
“And I think we just came into the bronze medal match thinking this is for USA. We’re going to bring home the bronze. So even though we couldn’t get first or second it still means a lot to us to win the bronze.”Quick Links
• U19 World Championships Larnaka, Cyprus 2016 - website
• Qualification - Men
• Qualification - Women
• Main draw - Men
• Main draw - Women