By Lucy Jordan, Senior Contributing Reporter
BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – In perhaps their best performance in the 2012 London Olympics yet, Brazil’s women’s volleyball team beat Japan in straight sets Thursday (August 9th), securing the team a place in the Finals where they will defend their position as reigning Olympic champions.
Brazil will meet rivals the United States in the final in West London’s Earls Court on Saturday. Brazil won their first gold in Beijing by beating the U.S. team 3-1 in 2008.
Japan, who lost to Brazil 3-0, will now play South Korea for bronze. The U.S. beat South Korea comfortably Thursday in straight sets (25-20, 25-22 and 25-22).
At the start of the London games Brazil had ranked fourth, after yielding the number one spot to the U.S. in 2011.
With an uneven start to the games, losing to the U.S. and South Korea in the preliminary round, Brazil has since rebounded to beat Russia in the quarter-final in a thrilling tie-break.
In yesterday’s match Japan and Brazil seemed well-matched at the start of the game, alternating the lead. But Brazil’s superiority at blocking, helped by their greater height, soon saw them pull into the lead.
The first set closed 25 to 18 and Brazil continued to defend well, closing the second set at 25 to 15 – Brazil’s second biggest advantage throughout the Olympics – and the third, comfortably, at 25 – 18.
After a great display in the tie-break against Russia, Thaísa Sheilla and Captain Fabiana Caludino both performed particularly well, scoring thirteen points each.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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