|Termoli, Italy, September 12, 2004 - After losing to Barbara Figueiredo and Carolina Solberg Salgado in pool and dropping the first set in the gold medal to the Brazilians here Sunday at the women's FIVB World Championships for players under 18 years old, Poland's Katarzyna Urban and Joanna Wiatr figured the South Americans "just had their number."
But the pair of 17-year old Poles rallied to win the final two sets of the title match to score a 17-21, 21-17 and 15-13 win in 53 minutes over the second-seeded Figueiredo and Solberg Salgado to complete the third annual FIVB U-10 World Championships on Rio Rivo Beach.
"We really had nothing to lose against the Brazilians," said Urban. "They beat us in pool play Thursday, so we just starting forcing the action and hoping for the best. We kept playing hard and hoping that we could force some errors. I think we gave the fans a good match. Obviously, it will be a match to remember for us."
Urban and Wiatr dropped a 21-13 and 21-17 decision to the Brazilians Thursday morning in Pool B play. The 23rd-seeded Urban and Wiatr won their next five matches, including a 15-21, 21-19 and 15-12 semi-final win over fifth-seeded Marlen Van Iersel and Margo Wiltens of the Netherlands Sunday morning.
With the win, Urban and Wiatr have now secured two international titles this season after defeating Florentina Büttner and Julia Sude of Germany 21-18, 15-21 and 16-14 in the European U-18 gold medal match last month in Myslowice, Poland.
"We are still very young to start thinking about playing full-time on the beach," said Urban. "Right now, we just want to relax and enjoy the moment. Hopefully, the Polish guys can capture men's title to make this day even more special."
Poland's Zbigniew Bartman and Michal Kubiak play Arunas Kirsnys and Arvydas Miseikis of Lithuania for the men's gold medal in Sunday's final match of the mixed gender event. Bartman and Kubiak also won the European U-18 Championships last month.
For Figueiredo and Solberg Salgado, the gold medal defeat earned them their second-straight FIVB U18 World Championship silver medal as the paired dropped the 2003 title match in Thailand to Jana Kohler and Laura Ludwig of Germany (21-11, 30-32 and 15-7).
Figueiredo and Solberg Salgado advanced to the title match by defeating the third-seeded Büttner and Sude 21-18, 20-22 and 15-13. Solberg Salgado also placed fourth in the inaugural U-18 event in Greece with Isabel Grael.
In the bronze medal match, Büttner and Sude scored a 21-19 and 21-10 over Van Iersel and Wiltens. Germany has now won five medals in the first three women's FIVB U-18 World Championships, including a silver and bronze in 2002 and a gold and bronze last season.