Challenge - Edmonton, CAN - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Mol, H./Berntsen (NOR) vs. Pedrosa/Campos (POR) - Final 1st Place #5978423

Pedrosa and Campos celebrate their victory in Espinho

Portugal’s 24-year wait for an international beach volleyball gold medal came to an end on Sunday, with João Pedrosa and Hugo Campos’ incredible victory at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Edmonton Challenge.

The young Portuguese overcame some amazing competition to rank first in the tournament held at the Fan Park, in Canada, making it to the podium alongside second-placed Hendrik Mol and Mathias Berntsen of Norway and third-placed Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava of Italy.

  • Beach Pro Tour Edmonton Challenge matches are available on demand on VBTV

The Portuguese had the longest possible journey to win gold at the Edmonton Challenge, playing two qualifier matches on Thursday, two pool play encounters on Friday, three elimination duels on Saturday and two medal matches on Sunday, ending the week with eight victories in nine matches. The last and most important of them was a sweep (21-16, 21-18) of Mol and Berntsen in the gold medal match.

The reigning World University Championship winners, Pedrosa, 23, and Campos, 22, were not only the first Portuguese to take gold on the Beach Pro Tour, but also the first athletes from their country to stand on the top of the podium in a world-level international beach volleyball event since the legendary Miguel Maia and João Brenha triumphed in an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event in Moscow, Russia, in 1999, when neither of the two were born yet.

“We almost lost in a tie-breaker in the qualifier and now we’re here, winning gold, it’s hard to believe,” Pedrosa remarked. “Maia and Brenha are like family to me, they support us the entire time. Hopefully, now it’s our turn to give some medals to Portugal. We just want to continue doing that because it’s what we love to do and winning makes it even more satisfying.”

The two, who started competing internationally together in 2017, have won medals at the international level in the last two seasons, getting two silvers and one bronze in World Tour one-star events in 2021 and silver at last year’s Beach Pro Tour Cortegaça Futures, in their home sand. In 2022, they also made their final semifinal appearance in a Challenge event, finishing fourth in Torquay, Australia.

“I can’t believe it,” Campos reacted. “We’re very, very happy. I can’t even express how I feel right now because we’ve been dreaming about this moment for so long. We worked very hard to represent our country in the best possible way and this is a dream. We lost a pool play match and had to come back and that made us very strong mentally.”

**Beach Pro Tour Edmonton Challenge – Results**


The three men's teams stand at the podium in Edmonton

Nicolai e Cottafava hanno completato il podio tutto europeo a Edmonton con una vittoria in set diretto (21-19, 21-19) sui brasiliani Pedro Solberg e Gustavo 'Guto' Carvalhaes nella partita della medaglia di bronzo dell'evento canadese.

È stata la prima apparizione sul podio per gli italiani nella stagione 2023 del Beach Pro Tour. Nel 2022, il loro primo anno come partner, Nicolai, medaglia d'argento alle Olimpiadi di Rio 2016, e Cottafava hanno vinto quattro medaglie: un oro, un argento e due bronzi.

"Siamo felici di essere tornati sul podio", ha commentato Cottafava. "Ci sentiamo bene ora e speriamo di poter continuare a giocare a questo livello negli eventi futuri. Anche il Brasile ha giocato molto bene e sono cresciuto guardando Pedro giocare, quindi è stato un onore affrontarlo in campo oggi".

La prossima settimana, il Beach Pro Tour continuerà in Canada, ma si sposterà ad est, andando a Montréal, dove si disputerà il sesto torneo Elite16 della stagione da mercoledì a domenica.

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