Lausanne, Switzerland, September 7, 2018 – Eduarda 'Duda' Lisboa’s youth and junior career already indicated she was poised to be part of the beach volleyball elite at some point in her journey. What many didn’t expect, however, is that it would happen so early.
With 20 years of age recently celebrated, the Brazilian rising star just completed her third full FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season and it was one to impress even the most seasoned veterans competing around the globe.
With partner Agatha Bednarczuk, Duda won the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals, topped the world rankings and was voted by fellow players, coaches, media, referees and FIVB officials the Most Outstanding Player, the Best Hitter and the Best Offensive Player of the 2017-2018 season.
She is the youngest athlete to earn the Most Outstanding Player award since the start of the voting after the 2005 season.
Duda is arguably the most accomplished young player in the history of the sport with a total of five FIVB Age-Group World Championships and a gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics, but don’t forget, she’s just 20.
“Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe in all of this,” Duda said about her season. “All has changed so fast to me. I know I started playing when I was very young, but sometimes it’s scary to think about all that has happened so far. What I try to do is not to think so much in the future, but make sure I’m working as hard as I can right now.”
Duda and Agatha celebrate their World Tour Finals victory
The team’s victory in Hamburg in the World Tour Finals was the fourth medal won by the Brazilians, who just ended their second season together, in 2017-2018. They won another gold on home soil at the Itapema Open, a silver in Moscow and a bronze in Warsaw, all four-star events.
In 2016-2017, Agatha and Duda won six World Tour medals, but they both agree their latest season is their most successful so far. And they also share the same feelings about giving their staff much of the credit for their accomplishments.
“The most fantastic thing is that it’s a team victory for us,” Duda added. “We know how hard our coaching staff has worked to have us where we are at now and how important they are for us. Every young beach volleyball player dreams about this moment but I’m very aware that it wouldn’t have happened without each of them. Work and unity are the words that best define this season for me.”
In the next couple of months, the duo will be focused on what’s arguably their most challenging goal – qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The qualification process started last week with the one-star event in Montpellier, France.
Related articles:20-year-old Duda selected as Women’s FIVB World Tour Most Outstanding PlayerNorwegian Mol nets FIVB “most outstanding” World Tour status