2017-07-29 11:33:00 CEST
They may be separated by 15 years, but Agatha admits she is still learning from her junior Duda
If you thought being a world champion would stop Agatha Bednarczuk wanting to learn every time she takes to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 court, then think again.
The Brazilian comes to Vienna in top form and with the title in her armory, but with a new partner in 18-year-old Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa, the champion is loving adding new strings to her bow.
Should she go all the way once again, Agatha would have the youngest ever champion alongside her in Duda – and few would dare rule out the combination of youth and experience when it comes to the main stage.
The pair are also in top form, on the podium in five of their last seven competitions including lifting the Rio crown, complementing each other in near-perfect fashion despite this being Duda’s first World Championships.
“The memories of this competition are so good, but now I think about making history for my new partner,” explained Agatha. “My mind is open to make this history.
“We are very together, we are very happy and strong and we’re feeling good. But at the same time we are taking everything step by step and are very grounded.
“Every tournament we’ve had so far has been a learning experience for getting us here, this is a very important tournament for us.
“I love playing with Duda, when we started the partnership I was thinking about that experience and how I could teach her, but now it is very different. We are learning with each other every time, she teaches me many times too and that’s fantastic.
“I have more years playing but we are very happy, things are different for me now compared to before and I love it, it is fantastic for me.”
Agatha’s title defense got underway in near-perfect fashion on Saturday, opening up with a 21-7, 21-8 victory against Gaudencia Makokha and Naomie Too, the first Kenyan pair to ever play in the World Championships.
But they weren’t the only ones breaking new ground as Duda, who turns 19 on the day Brazil play against Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel on Tuesday, also thrust into the heart of the action.
Already a four-time FIVB youth world champion, the teenager knows what it takes to celebrate success, though even she was taken aback at just how special her Viennese introduction was.
“Playing in a World Championship is a whole different feeling already, it’s an incredible experience for me already,” said Duda.
“It’s a great honor to play and learn with a world champion, she can help a lot with experience and passing all the knowledge she has.
“She helped me with the preparations from a mental perspective, getting ready and keeping the focus. I was a little bit nervous but Agatha made a big difference to that.”
Agatha and Duda are back in action as recently as Sunday, when they play Canada’s Julie Gordon and Camille Saxton at 1pm CET. You can watch and all the games live on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!
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