The long road to the world title

06.07.2019 - Hamburg

Dreams do come true for Canadian champions

Sometimes you have to ask the annoying questions to get what you want. So we asked Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan, moments after they were crowned champions of the world and minutes after Sarah, finally, realized they had a won a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, whether they remember the Toronto Finals of 2016.

Back then, on home sand, they played their very first tournament together and lost a country quota play-off.

“Why would you remind us of that?!” they screamed. Because, girls, since then things have just got better and better. And then some. Climbing to the summit of the world rankings, winning World Tour medals, Major Series success and now, today, the crowning moment of three years hard work: the World Championship title.

“It’s been a long road, it was the best thing that ever happened,” said the Melissa, the Smiling Assassin, who dug what seemed every ball within her reach during the gold medal match victory over Alix Klineman and April Ross.

It’s days like this that make it all worth it. The hard days slogging in the gym, the endless, never-ending hours diving on the sand attempting to save undiggable balls in training. All of those things, all of the past, now forgotten after 58 memorable minutes in front of the biggest crowd for a World Championship final.

“Every failure has led to this moment, nobody sees the tough moments, they only see the good,” said Sarah. “We were the first Canadian team to win a Major; the first Canadian team to win the first Commonwealth Games; and now we’re the first Canadian team ever to win a World Championship medal.

“We’re proud of the history we’re making but it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. We’re committed to each other, we’ve ground through the tough times and these times of adversity makes this moment even sweeter, knowing all the crap that we’ve been through.”

Melissa delivered a masterclass in defense during the final and 26-year-old had no words to sum up her achievements.

“It’s a dream. It’s indescribable. The things we have overcome this week, last week, this year, in the last two years, three years and now we’re world champions, I have no words,” she said.

“I think someone will need to wake me up from a dream. It’s unbelievable.”

There’s no rest for the wicked. Champions are relentless. It’s off to Gstaad on Wednesday and the next aim: to defend the golden cowbell they won last year.

And we promise – that’s the last time we mention Toronto.

Oh well, maybe in Tokyo.