The continental champions and Colombia claim spots at the 2022 World Championship
Despite losing to hosts Colombia on the final day of the tournament, Brazil captured their 22nd title in the Women’s Volleyball South American Championship in Barrancabermeja on Sunday. Both teams have qualified for the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in the Netherlands and Poland.
Undefeated in their first four matches on Colombian soil, Brazil entered the last day of the tournament needing just one set to secure the first place and, after an early scare, that’s what the Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallists got.
After shockingly losing the first two sets, the Brazilians fought back to win the third and were able to celebrate their 14th-straight continental title despite Colombia’s 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 24-26, 25-23) victory in front of their home fans. Argentina finished third in the tournament.
Brazilian star outside hitter Gabriela ‘Gabi’ Guimaraes was awarded as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She was also part of the tournament’s Dream Team alongside teammates Carol Gattaz (middle blocker) and Ana Cristina Souza (opposite).
"This is another important victory for Brazil," Gabi said. "We need to congratulate Colombia too because they played a great match and pushed us the entire time. But we need to celebrate this title and the entire season, which was really special for us. We had our ups and downs during the tournament but managed to finish it with the gold medal and qualified for the World Championship. We ended the season strong and will start thinking about Paris when we return to work next year."
The result was remarkable for the Colombians, who will for the first time in their country’s history compete at the World Championship next year. The team has been coached by a Brazilian, Antonio Rizola, over the last four seasons.
“Defeating Brazil, which is coming from winning silver at the Olympics, is huge, but the most important thing to me is to see our work paying off,” Rizola said. “We were the best team, we played at 120% and they didn’t get to 70% of their potential. But we did it because of our work and our dedication.”