Gstaad, Switzerland, July 15, 2018 - Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude had match point and a 15-14 lead in the third and deciding set to have an opportunity to win their second-straight Gstaad Major title, but Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan scored the last three points of the match to dethrone the Germans as the beach volleyball champions in the Swiss Alps Village.
The Canadians used successful attacks by each player to regain the lead at 16-15 with Sude being called for a net touch for the final point to secure a 2-1 (21-17, 12-21, 17-15) gold medal win in 52 minutes for the top-seeded Humana-Paredes and Pavan at the $600,000 Gstaad Major.
With their third FIVB gold medal and second Beach Major Series title, Humana-Paredes and Pavan shared the $40,000 first-place prize while the seventh-seeded Germans split $32,000.
The 2018 Gstaad finalists have now met four times on the FIVB World Tour with each team winning twice. Humana-Paredes and Pavan eliminated the Germans in the quarterfinals at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna while Laboureur and Sude defeated the Canadians in mid-May in the United States with a semifinal win at Huntington Beach, Calif.
Diving for Mikasa in Gstaad on Sunday is Chantal Laboureur of Germany
Sunday’s finale marked the fifth FIVB World Tour gold medal match between the two countries with the Canadians now winning four times, including a win two weeks ago in Poland where Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson from the North American country posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) over Laboureur and Sude in Warsaw.
In the bronze medal match where the winning team shared the $20,000 third-place prize, third-seeded Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson of Canada rallied from a slow start (trailing 1-7 and 4-11 in the first set) to defeat third-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa of Brazil 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) in 37 minutes.
Canadian cradle by Brandie Wilkerson (No. 2) with Heather Bansley after their bronze medal win Sunday at the Gstaad Major.
Bansley and Wilkerson's win guaranteed Canada two women's medals at the same World Tour event for the first-time as the country had two teams in the semifinals for only the second-time in the history of the women's circuit that starting in August 1992 with the Gstaad Major being the 365th tournament.
It was the third FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with Bansley and Wilkerson also winning in mid-May in the United States in southern California at Huntington Beach with the Brazilians victorious last July in Gstaad.
Agatha and Duda, who split $16,000 for fourth-place, failed to protect a Brazilian medal-stream in the Swiss Alps village as men’s and women’s teams from the South American country had placed on the podium 18-straight years in Gstaad with nine women’s and eight men’s gold medal finishes.
Agatha and Duda’s Sunday started with a 2-1 (14-21, 21-12, 15-13) semifinal setback to Humana-Paredes and Pavan while Bansley and Wilkerson failed to create the all-Canadian finale by losing 2-1 (25-27, 21-14, 18-16) in 64 minutes to Laboureur and Sude.
FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° with the women's Gstaad Major podium placers from Canada and Germany.
The Gstaad Major men’s finale was Saturday where 21-year-old Anders Mol and 22-year-old Christian Sorum became the first Norwegian team to win a FIVB World Tour gold medal in 20 years by defeating Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain in the finals.