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June 19, 2022: After an impressive run, Canada’s Sophie Bukovec and Brandie Wilkerson fell to Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) and Ana Patricia Ramos 0-2 (17-21,19-21) in Sunday’s women’s final at the Beach Volleyball World Championships Rome 2022.
Bukovec and Wilkerson were seeded 20th in the tournament and the team showed great composure winning their pool and advancing to the gold-medal match against the number-two seeded team from Brazil. Yesterday, the Canadians defeated Svenja Müller/ Cinja Tillmann of Germany in the tie-break of their semi-final.
For the most part in today’s match, Duda/Ana Patricia had the edge over the Canadian team, but Bukovec and Wilkerson not only stayed close behind in the score in the second set, but even took the lead at 17-16. In the end, it was Brazil’s day to win gold. The German team took bronze, after an injury to one of the Swiss players during that match earlier today. 
This is the first year Wilkerson and Bukovec, both of Toronto, have played together as a team. Wilkerson has previously competed at two World Championships, with the Vienna 2017 fifth place as her best result with Heather Bansley. Bukovec is a relative newcomer, but won the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships with then teammate Tia Miric, and has been working with several partners at the senior level.

“The medal validates the hard work that we’ve put in this season. It gives us a bit of confidence that we are on the right track, and doing the right things to compete with the best in the world” said Bukovec. 

Continued Wilkerson: “We wouldn’t be competitors if we said we were satisfied… we of course wanted to walk away with the gold, but again, we’re doing the right things and are looking forward to continuing our journey as a team!”

This is the second podium finish in a row for Canadian women at the Beach Worlds. Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) and Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) won gold in 2019, but were eliminated by Duda/Ana Patrícia in Friday’s quarterfinals. They finished fifth in the standings at this tournament.
British Columbians Megan and Nicole McNamara were 17th overall, and the Canadian men’s entry of Sam Schachter (Richmond Hill, ON) and Dan Dearing (Toronto) also finished in 17th position.

Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum won the men’s gold over Brazil’s Vitor Felipe and Renato Lima today In Rome. 

Volleyball Canada media contact:
Jackie Skender
Mobile: 613.794.7676

Photo: Philip Whitcombe