POREC, Croatia: Pedro Solberg Salgado and Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhaes fought back from match point down to claim gold the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series in Porec.
In front of a packed Red Bull Beach Arena crowd, the duo was one point from defeat but eventually overcame Italian Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai 18-21, 25-23, 15-9 in a breathtaking final.
Earlier, Salgado and Guto put paid to Qatari hopes with a 22-20, 19-21, 15-12 victory against Jefferson Pereira and Cheriff Younousse in the second round of qualifiers.
Salgado and Guto have now become the first men’s team to win a Majors title having played in the country quota to qualify for the event.
Lupo and Nicolai looked as though they were on course for victory after winning the first set 21-18.
However, a dramatic second set was much closer as the lead continually changed hands. At one point the Italians had a point for the match but the experienced Salgado, 31, and teammate Guto, 23, held on to take the final to a deciding set.
The Brazilians turned on the power in the third set with a stunning combination of defence and attack, eventually securing a six-point advantage and, with it, their first gold medal on the international beach volleyball tour as a team.
Salgado and Carvalhaes were not the only Brazilians singing their national anthem on the podium. They were joined by Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, who made light work of young Russian pair Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin in the bronze medal match. The reigning World and Olympic champions won in straight sets 21-15, 21-18.
Meanwhile, it was a disappointing outing for the other Qatari pair - Julio Cesar and Ahmed Tijan losing out to Lorenz Schumann and Julius Thole of Germany 18-21, 18-21 at the first hurdle. Pereira and Younousse had beaten England's Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf 21-17, 20-22, 15-9, before losing to the eventual champions.