Leila and Mailen strike maiden World Tour gold for Cuban women

Aydin, Turkey, May 20, 2018 – Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega and Mailen Deliz Tamayo became the first Cuban women’s pair to win gold on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. On Sunday, they scored two straight-set wins to reach the top of the podium at the Aydin one-star event in Turkey. This is the first medal for either of the two players on the Tour.

The second place went to top-seeded Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Mastikova. This is the third consecutive (and overall) podium finish for the Russian pair, after they took medals from their previous two participations on the Tour – gold at Langkawi and bronze at Phnom Penh.

In an all-Swedish third place match, Kristina Thurin and Susanna Thurin claimed their country’s first ever medal on the World Tour for either gender.

The women’s podium at Aydin

Leila Martinez and Mailen Deliz were always a step ahead in the final against Dabizha and Mastikova sealing a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) victory.

“We are very happy with this victory and we obviously feel good,” Mailen Deliz said. “We loved both the crowd and the city. We will be doing our best in the next international tournament that we are due to contest in Russia.”

Leila Martinez about to serve the ball in the women’s final

The bronze medal match was an all-Swedish affair with Susanna and Kristina Thurin playing their compatriots Tadva Yoken and Sigrid Simonsson. Yoken and Simonsson won the first set and secured a double match point in the second, but the Thurin twins managed a spectacular turnaround on the way to a 2-1 (18-21, 26-24, 15-11) and the historic bronze.

“We just wanted to have fun out there on the court and it worked this way,” the Thurins said. “Any match with Tadva and Sigrid is always a close one. This time we won and made it to the podium on the World Tour for the very first time. We are obviously delighted.”

Great save by Tadva Yoken in the bronze medal match

Earlier on Sunday, the two semifinals were held. Dabizha and Mastikova recorded a 2-0 (21-17, 21-10) victory over Thurin and Thurin while Leila and Mailen left no chance to Yoken and Simonsson with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-9) win.

Ksenia Dabizha overcomes the Swedish block during one of the Aydin semifinals


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