2016-10-05 09:53:00 CEST

Memories of Maceió

Brazil boss it on home sand

Duda, pictured here during the Gstaad Major, won gold in Maceió. Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu.Duda, pictured here during the Gstaad Major, won gold in Maceió. Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu.

Seven months ago Maceió was dancing to the samba on the sand beat as Brazil dominated the first double-gender tournament of 2016.

The hosts celebrated by winning four of the six medals on offer at the Maceió Open in what was the first women’s event of the new year.

And there was a real surprise, too – 17-year-old rising star Duda and partner Elize Maia beat off all the competition to win gold for Brazil, defeating Dutch duo Meppelink/Van Iersel in straight sets in the final.

At 17 years and six months old, Duda became the third-youngest player to win an FIVB World Tour gold.

Madeleine and Marleen enjoyed a superb run on their way to securing silver: they toppled number one seeds Agatha/Barbara in the semifinal in straight sets and also dumped out Germans Ludwig/Walkenhorst 2-0 in a memorable quarterfinal clash.

Agatha/Barbara recovered from that defeat to pick up the bronze medal, beating Argentina’s Gallay/Klug. A fourth place finish would be a sign of things to come for Ana and Georgina as the season would progress.

Meanwhile in the men’s competition, Brazil had to settle for silver and bronze as Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena won gold for the United States.

The Americans showed grit and determination by the bucket load to top the podium as four of their final five games in the tournament were won in a deciding set.

In the final the number two seeds battled against home favorites Evandro/Pedro Solberg and edged an epic 55-minute spectacle 2-1 with a 15-12 victory in the decider.

Although there was no gold for the Brazilian men to celebrate, the hosts were at least guaranteed a bronze too as Alvaro Filho/Vitor Felipe met Guto/Saymon in the fight for third place.

In another match full of twists and turns it was the upcoming pairing of Guto/Saymon that prevailed in straight sets as the youngsters recorded victory with a 25-23 score in a pulsating second set.

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