Bangkok, Thailand, August 21, 2011 - World No.1 Brazil silenced the noisy spectators of more than 7,000 packing the Keelawes 1 Gymnasium with their exceptional performance to brush off Thailand in straight sets (25-16, 25-12, 25-18) to make a clean sweep in the World Grand Prix preliminary round on Sunday as they remain unbeaten ahead of the finals.
Brazil fielded an eye-catching team joining 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallists Paula Pequeno, Sheilla Castro and Thaisa Menezes, while powerful Wilavan Apinyapong and Pleumjit Thinkaow spearheaded Thailand.
Brazil led initially in the opening set before the Thai players counter-attacked well to win five straight points to surge ahead. However, with the greater experience and tactics, Brazil bounced back strongly to catch the host side at 10-10 and stormed on with mighty attacks. As the Thai players failed to make their mark, hard-attackers Marianne Steinbrecher and Thaisa Menezes became point-scoring machines for Brazil as stormed ahead at 18-13. The formidable visitors never looked back from there, foiling Thailand’s determine attempts to take the set.
The second set turned out to be an easy task for Brazil as they continued their superb form from the beginning to the end. With Marianne and Sheilla Castro uncorking a barrage of thundering spikes, Brazil clinched the one-sided set 25-12.
In the third set, Thailand challenged their powerful rivals seriously, but the Brazilians still proved too much for the hapless smaller-built rivals. Brazil utilized their height advantage to block effectively, while Sheilla tore the Thai defence apart with her exceptional spikes. Leading at 24-18, Fernanda Rodrigues attacked the smaller blockers with her great spike to help Brazil capture the set 25-18.
Thailand still have a chance of making the finals but will now have to wait for the remaining results to see if they can move on to Macau, China for the finals.