Vinicius and Luciano – from qualifications to gold at Miguel Pereira
Luciano and Vinicius – emotional, yet focused
Miguel Pereira, Brazil, May 27, 2018 – Qualification wild cards Vinicius Rezende Costa Freitas and Luciano Ferreira de Paula extended their fairy-tale run from Thursday’s qualifications at the Miguel Pereira one-star event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour all the way through to victory in the men's final. The Brazilian duo won gold, their first-ever medal on the Tour.
Main draw wild cards Rodrigo Vieira Bernat and Harley Marques Silva, also from Brazil, claimed the silver medal. For 43-year-old Harley this was the 35th medal in his World Tour career, but the first since 2010. For his 30-year-old teammate Bernat, however, it was the maiden podium finish on the Tour.
To complete the all-Brazilian podium, Ramon Ferreira Gomes and Alvaro Marcelino Santos Andrade won the bronze. Both in their mid 20s, they celebrated their career first World Tour medals.
Vinicius and Luciano claimed a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 (22-24, 21-18, 15-6) victory in the final against Bernat and Harley at the sold-out centre court stadium. The first set was very close. Bernat and Harley wasted an 18-15 lead to take the set extend into overtime. They even had to survive a couple of opponent set points before Bernat’s fantastic block stopped the clocks at 24-22. Halfway through the second set Vinicius and Luciano managed to break away with a three-point lead and never looked back before Luciano put it away with a blasting spike for 21-8. They completely dominated the tie-breaker to make it a one-sided affair, in which they cruised to the gold with a 15-6 win.
In the bronze medal match, Ramon Gomes and Alvaro quickly recovered from a 3-0 start for their opponents, Felipe Cavazin Numasawa and Vinicius Gomes Cardoso de Araujo, also from Brazil, to take control and advance comfortably to a 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) victory.
To get to the gold medal match, Vinicius and Luciano had to persevere through another three-setter in the semifinals. Losing the first set to Ramon Gomes and Alvaro, they went on to win the next two and gain passage to the final with a 2-1 (15-21, 21-18, 15-11) win.
In the other semifinal, Bernat and Harley achieved a hard-fought 2-0 (24-22, 21-19) victory over Numasawa and Vinicius.