London 2012

Press release

Sheilla, back to happiness


Sheilla Castro (in the middle) back to the podium after Beijing

London, Great Britain, August 11, 2012 - The final of the women's competition at London 2012 was probably two different matches played in 100 minutes. A first set with USA dominating, while Brazil were looking desperately around. And then three magnificent sets, with the colours yellow and green overpowering USA. At the end of these two matches, of these four sets, Sheilla Castro was there, smiling and dancing on top of the podium, exactly where she was in Beijing four years before.

The first thing she thinks of with her gold medal around her neck is to have a multiple dedication: “This medal is for my grandmother Teresinha. Then I would like to dedicate it to the girls who trained with us and stayed in Brazil like Fabiola, Mari, Sassá, Braiti, Juci…all of them. And part of my medal goes as well to my boyfriend: in every difficult moment I had, he was sending me nice messages, motivating me. He helped me so much...and the medal is for all my family.”

Going back to the first set, an amazing 25-11 to USA - which was Brazil's worst ever set score in an FIVB competition - Sheilla has her own explanation: “In the first set we were eager to get the ball, but too much: we went too far with our will. We were too anxious to succeed. Then we relaxed and we started to serve better. I never thought in the first set 'oh, we can’t do it' we just needed to calm down.”

After the match, she can reveal the tactics they prepared with Zé Roberto Guimaraes before the match. “We knew that we had to serve well, to cut off their middle blockers from (Lindsey) Berg’s schemes. Then we had to control Destinee Hooker, since she’s one of the world best spikers, and then follow (Foluke) Akirandewo and (Jordan) Larson’s movements, as top priority.”

The first set of the final was in some way similar to how Brazil played during the pool. “Our way of playing wasn’t coming out. It was there, hidden somewhere, and we could not play with our typical joy. At the beginning of the pool we were so nervous in the locker room, too much. When we’ve lost with Korea, every one of us was crying, our mood was really down. That night marked a turning point for our team. All together we came up with the decision that it should have been the last match of this kind, that we needed to look forward and thinking about our game. It happened.”

Zé Roberto was seemingly furious during the first few time outs apparently pushing particularly his setter Danielle Lins. “Danielle was nervous like everybody else and she started to set too many balls for me, while I was too controlled by the USA block," Sheilla said. "Then she changed and started to play much better, really well from the second set. I think that she played an outstanding tournament here in London.”

So it’s time for celebration now. Ready for the party on their way back and another photo of the special parade which helps celebrate every Brazilian medal, the team on a firefighter’s truck, celebrated by thousands of fans. “On Monday our firefighters, the “bombeiros”, will be there to wait for us. It will be great. Once more.”


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