Brazil's Eduarda and Taina beat Russia to claim the U19 gold
It is the first medal for Brazil since 2005, when Carolina Aragao and Barbara Seixas claimed the gold. The 14-year old Eduarda won silver with Thais Rodrigues Ferreira just a few weeks ago at the U23 in her debut year and is probably the youngest player to ever win a gold medal at the U19.
From the start of the event there was no doubt that she and Taina were going to win the event. They reached the final with straight wins only and Eduarda had already announced their intentions to win the gold earlier in the tournament. “We were very confident”, she said. “But it is still a feeling I can’t express.”
Taina, 17 years old, won her first medal at her second FIVB event. She and Eduarda finished 9th at the U21 in Umag.
In the first set of the Porto final the Russians were overpowered by a strong serving Brazil, with Taina at the net with some big blocks.
In the second set last year’s bronze medallist Gorbunova and her new partner Makroguzova put up more of a fight, but the closest they came was two points behind.
Though the score said otherwise, it was a difficult game, Eduarda said. “It was a very hard game, like all of the matches we played here. But we took it point by point, set by set and match by match every time.”
USA rewarded with bronze
USA’s Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes were rewarded with the bronze medal for knocking out U21 world champions Kociolek and Gruszscynska and Swiss top team Nina Betschart and Nicole Eiholzer earlier in the tournament.
After losing the semifinal to Brazil they came back from behind against Germany’s Sarah Schneider and Lara Schreiber to win 2-1 (18-21 21-19 15-12).
Schneider and Schreiber had the opportunity to claim the bronze when they took the lead at the end of the second set, but USA came back to 19-19 and enforced a tiebreak.
“I feel amazing”, said Hughes who finished 4th at the U21 last year with Summer Ross. “This is an awesome experience. It’s my first time on the medal stand. My partner helped me out a lot, this was a real team effort.”
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