2019-01-28 02:25:00 CET

Ricardo breaks Brazilian Tour record

The 44-year-old veteran became the oldest player to win an event in his country

Álvaro Filho and Ricardo celebrate the first title since their reunion (Photocredit: CBV)Álvaro Filho and Ricardo celebrate the first title since their reunion (Photocredit: CBV)

Beach volleyball legend Ricardo Santos added yet another accolade to his résumé as the 44-year-old blocker, who returned to the World Tour in 2018, became the oldest player to ever win a Brazilian Tour event as partner Álvaro Filho and he claimed gold at the fourth stop of the 2018-2019 season, this weekend, in São Luis. Rebecca Silva and Ana Patricia Ramos prevailed in the women’s tournament.

Ricardo, a gold medalist of the 2004 Athens Olympics, and Álvaro won the first title since their reunion, last August, thanks to a three-set (18-21, 21-17, 19-17) victory over Rio 2016 Olympic champion Bruno Schmidt and Pedro Solberg, who lead the National Tour rankings.

“It’s great to be together with Álvaro and our team and to win this tournament,” Ricardo said after the final. “At this age, I need to reinvent myself each year as the level only keeps getting higher and Álvaro has been great as he motivates me and helps me to do it. We have a good chemistry and he deserves a lot of credits for this record too.”

Ricardo and Pedro battle at the net during the gold medal match in São Luis (Photocredit: CBV)Ricardo and Pedro battle at the net during the gold medal match in São Luis (Photocredit: CBV)

Guto Carvalhaes and Saymon Barbosa claimed the final spot on the podium as they took down Thiago Barbosa and George Wanderley in the two-set (21-13, 21-15) bronze medal match. Alison Cerutti and Andre Loyola finished fifth while Evandro Goncalves and Vitor Felipe were ninth.

Ana Patricia and Rebecca on top among the women

In the women’s event, Ana Patricia and Rebecca continued their great form and returned to the top of the podium after they won the World Tour four-star tournament in the Hague in the first weekend of the year.

The young Brazilians downed reigning World Tour Finals champions Ágatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa in three sets (21-23, 21-11 15-11) to win another gold medal.

“We didn’t take any time off at the end of the year and that’s what has been making a difference for us,” Rebecca explained. “We worked very hard and are a little fatigued, but we talk a lot to keep our focus on the matches. We knew this would be a hard tournament for us but we wanted to come anyway and I’m glad we did.”  

Pódio completo do Open São Luís, com direito a participação especial do nosso mascote, o Siribol. Ouro para Ana Patrícia/Rebecca, prata para Ágatha/Duda e bronze para Taiana/Talita. #CircuitoBrasileiro #vôleidepraia #BancodoBrasil #TorcidaBrasil #GrupoCimed #CimedEsportes #AsicsVolleyball #ImoveMe #MikasaBrasil

707 Likes, 2 Comments - Conf. Brasileira de Voleibol (@cbvolei) on Instagram: "Pódio completo do Open São Luís, com direito a participação especial do nosso mascote, o Siribol...."

Talita Antunes, who played in just the second tournament since she returned to the courts, and Taiana Lima earned their first medal since their reunion after they defeated Juliana Felisberta and Andressa Cavalcanti in two sets (21-19, 21-15) in the bronze medal match. Bárbara Seixas and Fernanda Berti, who are at the top of the rankings, and Maria Elisa Antonelli and Carolina Solberg both finished fifth.

The Brazilian Tour continues in Fortaleza as the city is set to host the fifth event of the season from February 19-24.

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