06.07.2019 - Hamburg
Majestic Canadians Melissa Humana-Parades and Sarah Pavan are champions of the world and have booked their ticket to the Tokyo Olympics after a sensational performance in the gold medal match of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord.
The duo showed tremendous spirit to fight back in not just one but two sets to take the title and seal Canada’s first ever World Championship medal in style against Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman, winning a pulsating match 23-21, 23-21.
In a gripping first set, Melissa and Sarah trailed 7-4, then won 10 points in a row to lead. The Americans came back but more Melissa magic in defense meant the Canadians closed out the first set.
With the Red Bull Beach Arena roof closed, and with the majority of fans inside the packed stadium backing the Canadians, Pavan and Humana-Paredes continued where they left off at the start of the second set.
Yet, the Americans who had seen off Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar in the semi-final, began to show their class in the second set, leading 14-11 and 18-16.
However, with Human-Paredes reading everything in defense and digging every ball and Pavan stalking the net, the Canadians staged another comeback, rallying to level the score at 18-18.
Pavan did what she does best at the net to put the gold medal in Canada’s hands. “That’s how we do it,” she mouthed to her teammate.
The inevitable happened just a few minutes later, and a trademark Pavan block at the net sealed the win to the delight of the crowd.
“We’ve been battling here all week and the fans have made it even more special, they were our third player in the court,” said Melissa moments after the final ball fell.
Pavan said: “I’m the luckiest blocker in the entire Tour. Melissa played amazing all tournament. It’s such a joy to turn off from blocking and have the ball always right there, ready for me to set it. She was amazing today, she was reading them like crazy and I’m so lucky to play with her.
“This is what we live for, you guys are such a joy to play for. We love coming here and playing for you. Hamburg will always hold a very special place in our hearts. We’re so blessed. Thanks for coming and supporting us all week.”