Family festival for Salgado’s on Rio’s sands
For the Salgado sisters it was a case of third time lucky after defeats in two previous finals. They broke their losing run in finals by defeating FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour leaders Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima 2-0 (21-19, 21-10) with Carolina voted as player of the tournament.
“I’m so happy,” Carolina said. “It is very special to win in Rio; we couldn’t let this opportunity slip away again. I want to thank Talita and Taiana, who are playing some amazing volleyball.
The sisters recently won their first World Tour gold medals at the Moscow Grand Slam and their win in Rio was all the more remarkable that they had played an exhausting semifinal against Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas, with a second set that lasted 39 minutes and ended with the sisters winning 36-34.
“I went to bed at almost 3:30 am,” Maria-Clara said. “We were definitely worn out, but we wouldn’t let fatigue beat us. In addition to our concentration, what fed us was the strength of the crowd and the energy coming from the crowd. Playing in Rio is wonderful, indescribable.”
A day later Pedro and Bruno held off the challenge of London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallists Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego to match Maria-Clara and Carolina’s achievement.
The gold gives them a boost ahead of the final FIVB Grand Slam of 2013, in Xiamen, China. Pedro and Bruno are 250 points behind World Tour rankings leaders Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs and will need to better the Latvian duo to win the World Tour.
“We have the chance to win the Brazilian Tour and winning in Sao Paulo and now in Rio shows our commitment to our work every, taking the season tournament by tournament,” Bruno said.
“We will take these two wins to China as motivation and try and use it to close the gap to the Latvians.”
Remarkably Pedro and Bruno have never lost to the 2011 FIVB world champions and continued their run with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) victory that ensured Pedro won Rio gold for a third year running.
“We‘ve been in good form since last year,” Pedro said. “We came here to win and not to be overrun as happened in Sao Paulo. Furthermore it was a special tournament for me because I could win in my home town.
“It is a double celebration and I'm even happier for my sisters, who have sought this title for a long time.”