Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 27, 2016 - Still basking in the afterglow of winning the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil’s Barbara Seixas has announced that her new teammate will be Fernanda Alves as the newest Brazilian pair attempt to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Seixas, 29, has begun a new partnership with Fernanda Alves, 31. Seixas previously played for six years with Agatha Bednarczuk with whom she not only won the most recent Olympic silver medal but the pair also won the gold medal in the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands.
Interestingly, Alves, who has recovered from shoulder surgery, won the silver medal at the 2015 FIVB World Championships playing with Taiana Lima.
The new tandem has been training together for a couple of weeks and was introduced to the media in a beverage store in the Leblon neighborhood, in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, just a few miles away from the Rio 2016 Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena.
“It was not an easy decision,” said Barbara. “I played with Agatha for six years and we had great results and we always had good chemistry, inside and outside the court. But I talked to my staff and we agreed that it was time to look for a new challenge that could bring me motivation and a new way to view things. I can see all of that in Fernanda and we are extremely excited for a long term project”.
Fernanda, transitioned from indoor volleyball in 2012 and went through surgery on her right shoulder last year. The best spiker of the 2015 FIVB World Championship feels the new team can be successful in the long term.
“As a rival, I always admired Barbara and her staff because of the way they worked.” Fernanda commented. “I was in the stands cheering for them a month ago and now it feels great to be part of the team. In just a few days I could notice the difference. I am sure it was a move that puts me in a better position to play in the Olympics, which has been my dream since I played indoor volleyball.”
The team will officially debut in competition at the second stop of the 2016-2017 Brazilian National Tour, scheduled to held from October 14-16 in Brasilia, and will have Barbara’s husband, Ricardo de Freitas, as head coach.
“They are both great players and our challenge is to make of them a great team in the right time, as we did with Barbara and Agatha,” reflected de Freitas, who also coached Barbara and Agatha. Talent is irreplaceable, but there is no victory in sports without planning. We have a long way ahead of us, and it will have many obstacles ahead, but we will work hard to achieve our goals.”