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2018-07-15 15:12:00 CET

Gstaad gold for Sarah and Melissa

The Canadians dethroned Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur to take the cowbells home

Melissa and Sarah celebrate their first gold medals in GstaadMelissa and Sarah celebrate their first gold medals in Gstaad

The Swatch Major Gstaad has new champions as Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes took last year’s winners Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur of Germany down in three sets (21-17, 12-21, 17-15) to end the 2018 edition of the tournament on top of the podium.

It was the second Beach Major Series gold for the world rankings leaders, who had also won the 2017 Poreč Major a little over a year ago, one week before they finished third in the Swiss Alps. They are the first Canadian team to win in one of the most iconic locations of international beach volleyball.

“It’s amazing,” Melissa said after the game. “This place is so special for us after medaling here last year and it means so much to bring this one home.”

Beach Volleyball Major Series on Twitter

Congratulations @SarahPavan & @melissa_hp10 - #GstaadMajor 2018 women's champions! 🇨🇦🏆🥇 Watch all the action again on https://t.co/uK9jJeztA0 https://t.co/8M2IBygWof

The lead changed hands quite a few times in the early portion of the first set of the gold medal match, but the Canadians took control in the end and Sarah scored back-to-back block points to win it 21-17. The Germans came back stronger in the second set and dominated in from start to finish as they won it 21-12 with a shot from Julia.

The defending champions carried their momentum to the tie-breaker and started better, but the Canadians reacted in the end to seal their victory.

“Mel was fearless in the third set,” Sarah commented. “She was just going up and swinging hard and they couldn’t stop her. Being down and fighting back to win seems to be our thing. We’re so happy.”

Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson continued in great form as they earned their first-ever Beach Major Series podium placement after they defeated Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa 21-19, 21-13 in the bronze medal match.

“To win a cowbell it’s what I’ve been waiting for,” Brandie commented. “I had my eyes on the big prize, but it’s nice to definitely have one. We had a big disadvantage in the first set, my no score intimidates us, we really trust in our team and that we can fight through it.”

The Beach Major Series continues in three weeks with the A1 Major Vienna from August 1-5.

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