Larnarka, Cyprus, July 21, 2016 – Brazil’s Eliza “Duda” Santos antics over the last three years has seen her arguably become “Miss FIVB age-group World Championships” and the 17-year-old is not done yet as she prepares to turn out at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championship
The Sergipe native already has an honours list many athletes would be proud of and has seen her success at the age-group level spill over onto the World Tour, becoming the third-youngest player to ever win gold at an FIVB Open event at the Maceio Open in February this year. She followed that up with gold in Fortaleza as well as the U21 Beach Volleyball World Championship crown in Lucerne, Switzerland in May.
Young Duda made her debut at an FIVB age-group event at the age of 14, winning silver at the U23 World Championships in Myslowice in 2013. She is also the reigning U19 world champion, with consecutive titles in 2013 and 2014 and will look to become the first person to ever complete a hat-trick of wins at any age-group World Championship.
Add to that her gold medal triumph at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in 2014 when she was just 15 as well as silver at the 2015 Puerto Vallarta Open and bronze at the 2015 Prague Open and it is quite the medal haul for a player who is not even 18.
“I love playing this game,” said Duda earlier this year. “My coaches and partners work hard in preparing for each tournament. I am very fortunate to have their support and guidance. I still have a lot to learn, but I like where I am mentally.”
“Most of the best players in Brazil were U21 world champions before,” she added following her U21 victory in Lucerne. Brazil won six gold, one silver and 3 bronze medals before in the previous fourteen editions of the U21. “And it’s the only title I didn’t get yet. So now it was my turn. This was super important for me. This medal is definitely in my top three.”