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A joyful homecoming for World Grand Prix title holders

The Brazil team's youngest player, Gabi, answers reporters' questions on her arrival home

Sao Paulo, Brazil,  September 3, 2013 -  Brazil’s victorious women’s team have returned home after a tiring 30 hour journey from Sapporo, Japan bringing with them a record ninth World Grand Prix title.
Winning their first title since 2009, Brazil have now won the most number of gold medals in the history of the tournament. The USA is second with five titles.

Along with a gold medal for the team, a number of Brazil’s players also came away with individual awards.

After being voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, Brazil’s Thaisa said, "No doubt, I have to thank all the girls from my team. I was well below my normal and I had the help of every member of my team.” “I was happy to receive the award but it’s not my main focus of concern. We know we have a lot to improve as the team is new and we keep growing every competition," she continued.

Fellow team-mate Fabi also took home the ‘Best Libero’ award from the World Grand Prix. "Of course it was a great result,” she said, “but we have to remember that the road to the 2016 Olympics is still long.” “I'm Happy to help the team. I'm becoming more experienced and am pleased that I’m still contributing as the old lady of the team!" said the 33 year old.

At 19 years of age, Gabi the youngest player on the team also expressed her delight at returning home with a gold medal around her neck. "It is the realisation of a dream.  I always wanted to be here and I'm grabbed the opportunity to be in the selection and gain experience with the older players. I'm playing alongside the best players in the world and this is very important for my growth."

Their coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes had only good things to say about Brazil’s performance and his team’s different styles of play. "The important thing was how the team played, we looked at the competition and then the Finals, where we had five games and five wins against opponents from different schools. The fact that my players reached Sapporo before they needed to help them prepare well for the Finals," said Guimaraes.

The team will now turn their attention to the next competition on their agenda – the South American Championship – that will be held from September 16 to 22 in Peru.

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