Maria Clara was the first to make her mark as she won the 2001 FIVB
Junior World Championships in Fortaleza alongside Shaylyn Bede. Two
years later the sisters teamed up to win Junior World Championships
bronze in Saint-Quay-Portrieux in France. In the same year Carol won
silver in the Youth World Championships with Barbara Seixas, a result
the duo repeated when the tournament took place in Termoli, Italy a
year later. Just for good measure Carol teamed up with Taiana Lima
to win gold at the 2004 Junior World Championships.
Soon after, the Salgados appeared on an FIVB senior podium when
they finished third at the 2004 Fortaleza Open and in 2005 they
added another bronze, this time from the Cape Town Open.
While they were fixtures on the World Tour for the next few
years, it wasn’t until 2008 that they really made their gold medal
breakthrough at the Myslowice Open before adding a trio of bronze
medals at the Dubai, Marseille and Stare Jablonki Opens. In 2011
they made it onto a Grand Slam podium for the first time with silver
at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam.
Now that they are back together the hope is that they can build on
their success in Shanghai throughout the season. “I think we have
come back a bit better as a team, we’re not fighting as much,” Carol
said. “I believed it would be a good experience for us also because I
think when you have played separately; you can see the good things
about each other. I give much more value to her and to me, and I
think that’s important for us.”
Having been apart for over a year the Salgado sisters have made
an impressive return to action and while Maria Clara Salgado and
Carolina Salgado failed to progress to the main draw at the Fuzhou
Open, the first tournament of 2013, they soon put things right a
week later when they stood on the podium for the first time since
with Shanghai Grand Slam bronze medals around their necks.
It marked a successful return to the court for Carol. At 25 years old
she is just under five years younger than Maria Clara, but she missed
the whole of 2012 due to being pregnant with her first child, a baby
boy who was born in August.
After one year’s split, we really needed and wanted to get back and
play together again,” said Maria Clara.
I wanted to be back on the Tour so much,” Carol added. “My baby
was born in August and one month later I was practicing a lot already.
It was hard to stay out, but having my baby was the best thing in my
life. So I think I’m stronger.”
With Carol away pregnant Maria Clara continued to play on the
World Tour. She was unable to find the same understanding that she
had with her sister, though there were flashes of her excellence at
the back of the court. “I had a really hard year, I had a lot of partners
and it was a terrible season on the World Tour because I didn’t play
so many events,” Maria Clara said. “With Carol I feel much better
on the court, I feel more confident and she supports me, she pushes
me all the time.
I think we have a good chemistry together, but it was a very special
moment for us as a family because she had a baby, so I was really
happy for her and I knew it would be a hard year, but a year that I
could learn a lot as well by myself.”
Maria Clara’s year playing away from Carol was the first time that the
pair did not play as a regular partnership since 2004.
With their mother Maria Isabel, a former player herself, to guide
them they had enjoyed a stellar start to their careers.
Maria Clara reached the Shanghai podium for a second time in her career.
Carolina has returned to the court after giving birth to her first child in
August 2012.
Having missed the whole of 2012 Carolina Salgado’s return
and with it the reunification of her partnership with elder sis-
ter Maria Clara Salgado has helped propel their sister act back
to the podium.
talks to them about being back on
the beach volleyball court.
After one year’s split, we really
needed and wanted to get back
and play together again.