2017-08-05 14:15:00 CEST
Talita and Larissa take World Championships bronze in a three-set thriller
Talita Antunes paid tribute to her and teammate Larissa Maestrini’s never-say-die attitude after being crowned bronze medallists at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.
The Brazilians were dragged all the way to three sets by Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan on Red Bull Beach Arena, at one point trailing by five points in the third set.
But the determination of Talita and 2011 champion Larissa shone through, resilient to the last point in a Viennese epic, finishing as 21-12 16-21 18-16 winners.
“This bronze medal was so important for us, we played well throughout the tournament apart from one set yesterday, but I think we deserved this medal for the fight that we have shown right to the end,” said Talita, who lost to Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst in the semi-finals.
“It was not easy, but I think our team never gives up.
“They had been playing very well, we saw in the second set how much stronger they got, but we never lost our mind and that was important.
“The crowd was amazing, we are so happy because we always believed this was possible, both the teams showed their talent and it was a great game.”
Having dominated the first set, the top seeds were pegged back by Humana-Paredes/Pavan in the second to force just their second deciding set of the competition.
And it looked to get even worse when the Canadians roared into a 5-0 lead in the decider, a point where Talita/Larissa was decided enough was enough and asked for a timeout.
It proved to be the best decision possible, roaring back to take a 10-9 lead before eventually closing the game out in a dramatic finale on Red Bull Beach Arena.
Talita added: “We were not thinking about the score, at that point you make sure you don’t lose your mind because if they can score five points, we can do the same. It is the same whoever you play and you have to remember that.
“That is my mentality, it’s how I feel at any point during the match when I’m winning or losing, if I can score two points then they can do the same.
“At that point you forget about the point and play. We took a time-out and worked out what we had to do, we didn’t need long.
“Experience was important, we never give up and we run and fight for every ball.”
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