Brazil beat Japan, confirm spot in women’s volleyball at Paris 2024

The emotionally turbulent week ended with a tie‑break win

Published on 25/09/2023 - 11:51 By Igor Santos - Rio de Janeiro

With plenty of sweat, the Brazilian women’s volleyball squad strove to fight the odds and beat Japan—the hosts of the qualifying tournament—three sets to two in Tokyo on Sunday (Sep. 24) and sealed their place at the Paris Olympics next year. Outside spiker Gabi was once again the top scorer, with 23 points.

As this was the last of the tournament’s seven rounds, everything would be decided in a direct duel between Brazil and Japan, who arrived with identical records (five wins and one defeat). Whoever won would secure their berth at the Olympics.

The Brazilians faced their opponents’ fans, who packed the gymnasium. Over 10 thousand voices shouted against Brazil. The Latin Americans entered the court still shaken by the unexpected loss of their former teammate Walewska, who passed away Thursday (21).

In the first set, Zé Roberto Guimarães’ team pushed on and won 25–21, gaining the confidence needed for the rest of the match.

The Japanese won the second set 25–22 and seized control of the third, when they came within two points of winning by leading 23–21. However, Brazil reacted in the final stretch and won the set 27–25.

The fourth set was dominated by Japan, who won easily by 25–15, setting the stage for a fifth and decisive set. In the tie-break, the Brazilians were better and closed out 15–10, emerging victorious from a battle that lasted two hours and 19 minutes.

Brazil will now go in search of their third Olympic gold, after winning Beijing in 2008 (when Waleswska was part of the campaign) and London in 2012.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nira Foster

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