Brazil wins fourth gold medal
GUADALAJARA, Mexico, October 20, 2011 – World number 1 Brazil
won its fourth Pan American Games gold medal in women’s
volleyball by prevailing against Cuba 3-2 (25-15, 21-25, 25-21,
21-25, 15-10) in a thriller played in front of a packed house at
Avila Camacho Sport Complex in Guadalajara on Thursday night.
The South American team had also claimed the title in the
editions of 1959, 1963 and 1999 in Chicago, Sao Paulo and
Winnipeg respectively. For the eight-time champions Cuba it was
its third silver medal in the history of the event.
The victory was a sweet revenge for the Brazilian squad which
lost to Cuba, also in five sets, four years ago when the
competition took place at home in Rio de Janeiro.
“By winning the Pan American Games gold medal we did something
important for our country and this generation,” Coach Jose
Roberto Guimaraes said. “It was a very tough match against a
Cuban team that played very good.”
“Cuba is a very young team that must improve its game for the
Olympic Games,” he added. “We lost the fourth set, but in the
tie-break, everything worked since the very beginning. The most
important thing is that this was a team victory.”
Sheila Castro and Mari Steinbrecher each contributed 15 points
to the victory while Fabiana Claudino added 13. Other Brazilians
in double digits were Paula Pequeno and Fernanda Rodrigues with
Cubans Yoana Palacios and Kenia Carcaces each scored 18 points
while Yusidey Silie and Ana Cleger added 12 and 10 respectively.
“Brazil is a great team and we went out to defend the crown we
won four years ago,” Cuba’s Juan Carlos Gala said. “We had
stated that we would battle point by point and we did it. This
experience will help us to see what we need to improve. Our team
could recover after a tough start. I am happy with this medal,
is a silver medal that tastes like gold because I saw a very
young team that played a wonderful match.”