The bronze medal achieved by the women’s team at the Paralympic Games Rio de Janeiro, in 2016, was the first in Brazilian volleyball. At the Tokyo Games (Japan), the country expects to be present on the stage, among both men and women, and the results in the main events of the tournament indicate that desire is not just talk.
The men’s team is the runner-up rating World Paravoli, FIVB, behind only Iran, champion of the Paralympics in Rio. Brazilians, for example, lead Bosnia (fourth), silver in 2016, Egypt (third), bronze for five years. In 2018, the national team finished third in the World Cup held in Arnhem (Netherlands), falling to the Bosnians in the semi-finals and defeating Ukraine in the duel on the podium. In 2019, Brazil was entitled to favoritism and won the fourth title at the American Paraban Games in Lima (Peru).
“Our mission, from the start, has been to reach the long-awaited and well-deserved Paralympic medal, as our results have been positive so far. With all the dedication, effort and overpowering athletes, I am sure we will reach our goal of the gold medal.” Brazil Agency The coach of the men’s national team, Celio Cesar Mediato, who is currently with 14 players out of 12 is planning to play for Tokyo.
The women’s team also stands out among the favorites on the podium. In the world ranking, it appears in third place, after the United States (1st) and China (2nd), the last two champions in the Paralympics. Silver in Paraban, overtaken by the Americans in the decision, the Brazilians reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup 2018, after they were excluded from Russia, which won the title. For coach Jose Antonio Guedes, the postponement of the Tokyo Games was beneficial for the national team.
“China and the United States have maintained a tactical organization since 2012. The two American teams, by the way, since 2008 or 2004. They are a tactically predictable team, but are technically excellent. Russia had a major tactical change in the World Cup and the champ was facing Everyone. By surprise. We changed our system completely. Therefore, we gained time to perfect what we changed and our understanding of the concepts of the game matured, “explained the coach of the women’s team, who will have an experienced team in Tokyo, is also limited to 12 players.
“We have athletes [na seleção] Where [a Paralimpíada de] London [Reino Unido] 2012. In women’s volleyball seating, we do not have a large number of female players, so there is concern that girls will be brought into the national team as soon as possible. In 2016, for example, there were at least four guys. Eduarda Dias was 16 years old, taking a free kick and becoming one of the best players in the world. Today, at the age of 21, she is one of the team leaders, with experience of two worlds and being a Paralympic medalist. The [atacante] Pamela Pereira is another girl who was in Rio, who won international baggage and is now playing among rookies, “Geddes described.
On the other hand, the emerging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the postponement of the Paralympics and has affected preparations in several ways since last year. It was no different in seated volleyball. The national teams managed to meet again only in January of this year, with the first training phase in Itabiana (Southeast). The second and third rounds were held, in February and March, at the Paralympic Training Center (CTP), in São Paulo.
“Or the effect [maior da pandemia] I guess it wasn’t for training the whole group together [ao longo de 2020]Because in the case of team sports, it is necessary to evaluate Mediato.
“My biggest concern was not only the selection meetings, but that the athletes continued to train in their clubs. The training phase is the result of these training sessions. In selection, we organize and organize the team tactically according to the material. Our human,” Guedes added.
The fourth stage will be in April, but the increase in COVID-19 cases in Sao Paulo has led the Brazilian Volleyball Federation for the Disabled (CBVD) to suspend training weeks. New monthly meetings are expected between May and June, with intense preparations in July ahead of the trip to Japan in August.
Also due to the epidemic, the pace of competition in Tokyo may be affected. The Volleyball World Cup has been postponed – initially in China and moved to Egypt before the Paralympics – to December. The men’s and women’s national championships, scheduled for May and June respectively, have been suspended and can be rescheduled for the second half, after the Games.
“We have sent invitations to Russia and Canada, to see the possibility of an exchange with them, which will be interesting to Brazil before the games. If not, then we have Plan B, which is to have a series of friendly matches against male teams from Brazil, which are of high standard and physical condition similar to that.” Of European or USA teams: strong, tall, attacking a lot, heavy. We have to approach this game concept, ”Guedes explained, assessing that the absence of competitions, in principle, affects most competitors in a similar way.
“Apart from the European teams that will be in Tokyo [Rússia e Itália], Who must compete in a local competition, the others fighting at the top are in the same case as Brazil, which is China and the USA. I think these two, us and Russia will be fighting over the podium in the Games. “
According to Mediato, the men’s team will exchange with Egypt and tournaments in Bosnia and the Netherlands between May and June, which were canceled due to the epidemic. “Summary in one word about overcoming difficulties: overcoming,” concluded the coach of the male team.
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