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BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS

Rebecca & Ana Patricia victorious as Brazilian circuit restarts

 
Rebecca (left) and Ana Patricia started the 2020-2021 season of the Brazilian circuit on top (Photo: Wander Roberto/CBV)
Saquarema, Brazil, September 21, 2020 – The six months of inactivity caused by the suspension of play around the world seemed to have not impacted Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Ramos at all as they returned to the sand in great form winning the opening event of the 2020-2021 Brazilian beach volleyball circuit this weekend in Saquarema.

The bronze medalists of the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals, Rebecca and Ana Patricia had last played in a tournament in March, when they secured the 2019-2020 Brazilian title. They spent most of the period in which the sport was suspended in their country in different cities, but the few weeks they had training together before the tournament seem to have been just enough.

The team coached by the veteran Reis Castro met recently-crowned Queens of the Court Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa in the final and, after a tough setback in the first set, managed to bounce back and post a 2-1 (22-24, 21-17, 15-12) victory to top the podium in a Brazilian circuit event together for the ninth time in the last three years. 

Agatha (left) and Rebecca compete at the net during the gold medal match (Photo: Wander Roberto/CBV)

“It feels great to be back competing after such a long time”, Rebecca said after their win. “It was difficult to find our best form after such a long break, but I felt that every match we got better as we regained our chemistry. Playing Agatha and Duda is always fun, not only for the fans watching at home but also for us because it’s always a tough challenge.”

World Tour veterans Talita Antunes and Carolina Solberg finished third after they defeated the legendary Juliana Felisberta and her partner Josi Alves in the two-set 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) bronze medal match.

The tournament marked the restart of beach volleyball in Brazil after the break caused by the coronavirus pandemic and featured an opening ceremony with players on the court on Thursday, after the qualifiers.


The country’s national federation adopted the “bubble” model used by other sports around the world, using its training facility in Saquarema, a city located less than 100 kilometers away from Rio de Janeiro, to host the matches and the athletes for the duration of the event.

No fans were allowed in the venue, but a pair of big screens showing the images of those watching at home was displayed at the centre court which allowed fans to interact with the players. 

“It was awesome that we got to return this week,” Talita explained. “It was a long break, it’s still a difficult moment for everyone and we're all adjusting to this new scenario, but the most important thing was to see the effort to make it happen. We really felt embraced and that means a lot for all of us.”

Next week will be time for the men to head to Saquarema for their first tournament, which will adopt the same format.


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