Dani Lins has returned to Brazil's training squad five months after giving birth for the first time
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 27, 2018 – Brazil were given a triple boost as Jose Roberto ‘Ze Roberto’ Guimaraes’ team began their preparations for the Japan 2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship that runs from September 29-October 20.
Olympic champions Dani Lins and Thaisa Menezes, and Fernanda Tome have linked up with the team at the National Training Centre in Saquarema, to take the training squad size to 15.
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Setter Dani Lins has returned following the birth of her first child, daughter Lara. The 33-year-old initially took a sabbatical to become pregnant following the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and since her return she has captained a team to fourth place at the Pan-American Volleyball Championship in the Dominican Republic.
“It's a double responsibility. I have to think about my daughter and the Brazilian team,” she said. “It was not easy to get back into shape. When I am on the court the focus is totally on volleyball. When I travelled to the Pan-American Championship I was away from Lara for the first time.
“I'm still coming back and I know I need to keep improving. The World Championship is a tough competition. I followed the Volleyball Nations League and all those teams will be refreshed and playing with greater speed at the World Championship.”
Ze Roberto’s team finished fourth in the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League after China beat them 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-22) in the bronze medal match.
They are chasing their first World Championship gold medal having won bronze in Milan at Italy 2014, silver in Osaka at Japan 2006 and silver in Tokyo at Japan 2010.
Middle blocker Thaisa has returned after overcoming knee and ankle injuries, and her experience in winning Olympic gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 will be vital if Brazil are to end their wait for world gold.
“I didn’t imagine returning to the national team. I still wanted to play at a high level, but I did not know how my body would react,” Thaisa said. “My recovery period was very difficult, but I am very happy with the opportunity to be in the national team again.”
Brazil’s preparations are set to step up a level from August. They welcome VNL winners and defending world champions USA to Brazil for four friendlies that take place from August 12 to 18, and they will then try to defend their Montreux Masters title in Switzerland from September 4-20.
“Everything is coming together and we are working on improving the players’ strength and power,” Ze Roberto said. “The World Championship is tough and difficult. There are 13 matches in a month, so we will need the whole squad.”