Hamburg, Germany, August 19, 2018 - After placing second in her last two appearance on the River Elbe, Agatha Bednarczuk finally captured the top spot on the podium in Germany’s second largest city here on Sunday as she and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa defeated a team from the Czech Republic to win the gold medal at the $800,000 Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone.
Seeded third in the final event on the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour calendar, Agatha and Duda posted a 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) gold medal win in 43 minutes over third-seeded Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic to split the $150,000 first-place prize – the largest winning purse in the history of beach volleyball.
In her previous two appearances in Hamburg and the Rothenbaum Stadium, Agatha won silver medals with Barbara Seixas at the 2016 Hamburg Major and Duda in 2017 at the World Tour Finals. In both tournaments, Agatha and her partners dropped the gold medal matches to Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.
“It is a great feeling to finally win the top spot on the Hamburg podium,” said 35-year old Agatha, who also captured the gold medal with Barbara at the 2015 FIVB World Championships in the Netherlands before the pair claimed the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where the pair lost the finale to Ludwig and Walkenhorst.
“Duda is an amazing partner and she is so young,” said Agatha about her 20-year old partner. “The win today caps a very good season for us as we prepare for the future. Our next goal is to return to Hamburg next June for the World Championships. We hope we can repeat. It will be tough especially with Laura and Kira returning to competition.”
Hamburg and the Rothenbaum Stadium will be the site of the 2019 World Championships with the 48-team men’s and women’s fields featuring players from all five FIVB confederations with competition scheduled from June 28 through July 7.
With her share of the winning check ($75,000), Duda become the youngest player to be awarded a similar paycheck as she is 20 years, 18 days. On Saturday night, Anders Mol broke the record by winning his $75,000 at 21 years, 1 month, 16 days as he and Norwegian partner Christian Sorum captured the men’s World Tour Finals gold medal.
Hermannova and Slukova, who shared $80,000 for placing second at the World Tour Finals, were seeking their second gold medal win over a Brazilian team this season as the Czech pair posted a gold medal victory over Barbara and Fernanda Alves two weeks ago at the Vienna Major in the Austrian capital.
To reach the finals, Agatha and Duda won an all-Brazilian semifinal by posting a 2-0 (31-29, 21-18) win in 56 minutes over fourth-seeded compatriots Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado. Hermannova and Slukova advance to the finals with a 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 17-15) win in 57 minutes over seventh-seeded Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy of Australia.
In the bronze medal match, Artacho and Clancy won the $50,000 third-place prize by posting a 2-1 (21-15, 19-21, 15-8) win in 51 minutes over Antonelli and Carolina. The Brazilians shared $35,000 for placing fourth.