04.08.2019 - Vienna
After a rain delay postponed yesterday’s women’s final, Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan needed to search for and book new flights back home to Canada. After six weeks on the road playing beach volleyball, it wasn’t the ideal preparation for a gold medal match for the World Champions.
However, it was worth the wait and worth the late-night stress after a third gold medal in the space a month was confirmed after a straight sets triumph over Brazilians Carol Solberg Salgado and Maria Antonelli on the Red Bull Beach Arena.
“To win it today, in this beautiful stadium in the beautiful weather is a fairytale ending for sure,” said defender Humana-Paredes.”
Having won the World Championships in Hamburg the pair then jetted back to home sand to play in front of family and friends in Edmonton and rewarded their fans with the three-star gold.
And now, after their victory over the Brazilians in Austria, the duo hope they can finally appreciate the success that has come their way in recent months.
“I’m not sure when what we have accomplished will sink in,” said Melissa. “In the last six weeks we haven’t had much of a chance to think about what we’ve done. Now we can celebrate with our loved ones, take a break for our mind, body and soul and be proud of everything.”
Sarah, who dominated at the net throughout the tournament – even successfully landing a block point with her head in the final – echoed her teammates thoughts.
“We got better and better as the tournament went on,” said the blocker. “The women’s field is so deep that winning a gold medal is tough. After a six-week stretch playing and to win three gold medals and completing our Major Series trifecta, it doesn’t get much better.”
The winners also paid tribute to the legion of Austrian fans who flocked to the Red Bull Beach Arena on Sunday.
“Vienna is amazing,” said Sarah. “The fans come here to support all of the teams, it’s a tradition here. The Austrians love to party and we love it. It’s awesome to play here and for those fans cheering for Canada. The energy and dancing definitely gets us fired up on court.”