Brazil are looking to defend the World
Grand Prix title they won last year and continue the momentum all the way
through to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Brazil is a volleyball-loving nation and
the team consistently challenge for titles at elite tournaments. They have won
the World Grand Prix on nine occasions and have been in the final the last six
times. They also triumphed in 2008 and 2009 and were beaten finalists in 2010,
2011 and 2012.
Brazil won the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and
did the same at London 2012 to become the third team, after the Soviet Union
and Cuba, to repeat as champions. The Brazilians also took Olympic bronze at
both Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. They have won the South American
championship 18 times, including on the last 10 occasions. They finished second
to Russia at the last two World Championships.
There is always pressure on the Brazilian
women but they seem to thrive under it. Coach Jose Guimaraes is one of the most
successful coaches in volleyball history. He is looking for his seventh Grand
Prix title with the team. Brazil’s roster is bolstered by the return of star
player Jaqueline Carvalho following an absence from the squad to have a baby.
They face 2013 silver medallists China in the opening Pool C match on August 1.