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Back-to-back gold for Brazil’s Eduarda at the U19 in Porto

Brazil's 16-year old Eduarda (left) and 17-year old Andressa win U19 gold
Porto, Portugal, August 3, 2014 - Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa won back-to-back gold at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Porto on Sunday. With Andressa Cavalcanti Ramalho she defeated Germany’s Sarah Schneider and Lisa Arnholdt 2-1 (21-14, 13-21, 19-17) in a thrilling final.

Last year Eduarda won the U19 with Taina Silva Bigi, following a silver medal at the U23 with Thais Rodrigues in her debut year.

“Finally”, said Eduarda who turned 16 at August 1. “Because this year I played in the U23 and U21 and I only got 9th place. So it is great to win the gold medal in my year, my age group. I’m very happy that I am a champion for the second time.”

For Andressa it is her first career medal after a 5th place last year. “It is my first medal in a world championship and it to be a gold one makes me very happy”, 17-year old Andressa added.

The Brazilians started the match aggressively, targeting mostly Schneider, who could not get the ball under control. But the Germans came back strong to win the second and also took a three-point lead in the tiebreak.

A strong serving Andressa got Brazil back into the game to level at 12-12. Germany then had three opportunities to claim the gold, but it were the younger Brazilian girls who held their nerves best and took it on their second match point.

“The German team changed their tactics”, Andressa said about the second set. “They were a lot quicker and they accelerated the game so much that I wasn’t able to block as well as I wanted and we couldn’t adjust. But on the tiebreak we adapted, Duda shined on the defence and we’ve finally done it.”

Schneider, who finished 4th last year at the U19, was disappointed but happy after all with the silver medal. “I feels good actually, it was such a great final and we had such a great tournament. It was amazing, but I think they won due to their previous experiences in finals.”

Canadian twins win bronze medal

Canada’s Megan and Nicole McNamara won the bronze medal with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-12) win over Kristyna Adamcikova and Katerina Valkova from the Czech Republic.

It was the first career medal for the Canadian twins, whose best result so far was 17th place at the U21 in Larnaka last week. It was only the second medal for Canada in a FIVB age group event, following the boy’s bronze medal for O’Gorman/Nusbaum in 2011 in Croatia.

“It’s surreal, it is almost like a dream”, said Megan. “Our goal was a medal and we got it. I am very happy.”

“I think we just played a better game. We really have given our best and we felt in control the whole time”, Megan said about the match against the Czech Republic.

Next for the Canadian girls, who are experiencing their first international season, are the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in August. “In a couple of weeks we’re going to be in China so hopefully we are going to get another medal there”, said Megan. Eduarda will be there as well.

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