Brazilians edge top-ranked Canadians in World Tour beach volleyball final

CANCUN, Mexico - Canada’s top-ranked beach volleyball team of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes came up just short in their first tune-up tournament ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Pavan, of Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto’s Humana-Paredes fell 2-1 to Brazil’s Tatiana Lima and Talita Antunes on Tuesday in the gold-medal match of an FIVB World Tour four-star event.

Canada took an early lead, winning the first set 21-19.

Brazil drew level by taking the second set 24-22. Canada saved for set points and had the chance to put the match away, but Brazil saved match point and came back to force a decisive third set.

Lima and Antunes built on their second-set momentum and took the third set 15-10 to claim their first World Tour event since 2013.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes plan to compete in at least five tournaments leading up to the Tokyo Games, which they qualified for when they won the women’s world title in 2019.

The FIVB World Tour event was the first of three that volleyball’s world governing body set up in a hub environment in Cancun.

“Other teams are scrambling to accumulate points. Obviously we want to win every tournament we play . . . but to be able to take a very objective approach and just see it as information gathering for Tokyo is definitely a luxury.”
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