Gabi strikes against the Cameroon block of Ezssi Piata and Estelle Adiana, as she leads Brazil to an opening day victory as the qualification process begns for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 1, 2019 - Two-time Olympic champions Brazil have inched closer to a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with their opening win Thursday 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-16) over Cameroon as the women's Olympic Qualification process got off to an early start. The Dominican Republic followed Brazil's lead in the tournament at Uberlandia, wrapping up the opening day with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-18) sweep of Azerbaijan.
The two winners of the opening day are headed for a showdown on the closing day, Saturday, which in all likelihood will be the decider for the ticket to Tokyo.
In top form once again, Gabi Guimaraes led the scoring for Brazil, bagging 15 points, including three of her side's seven aces.
Although Cameroon outblocked Brazil 7 to 5, the home side produced a far superior attacking efficiency to swing the balance in their favour, with Tandara Caixeta, opposite Gabi, adding another 12 points.
The 'Queens of the Caribbean' were inspired by Bethania De La Cruz who scored a match-high of 13 points, though Brayelin Martinez and Prisilla Rivera were close behind her at 12 each, while libero Brenda Catillo returned with some brilliant backcourt performances.
Twenty more teams begin their campaigns on Friday, as the other five pools get underway across the globe. Only one team from each of the six pools gets a direct ticket to Tokyo 2020. They will join Japan who are automatically qualified as hosts.
The remaining five berths will be filled following tournaments at continental level in January.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB.com - Tokyo Volleyball Qualification
FIVB.com - Volleyball