Thaisa Daher has won everything in the volleyball courts. Well, almost everything. The 2-time Olympic gold medalist, just like the Brazilian national team itself, is yet to win a World Championship gold medal. Now at 31 years old, and coming off an horrific injury that saw her miss 10 months of play, she is afraid this is her last chance to complete off her trophy case. The superstar player spoke to Globo.com about her hopes for the WCH:
“I did not expect to play at this WCH. I hoped and hoped to get back on the court, because there was a huge possibility that my career could’ve ended. So getting back on the court was my biggest goal. I did not think that I would return to play at a level capable of being in the national team, to add something useful for the team, so I am very happy.I’m feeling much better today. I still lack some reaction awareness and speed. I lost some of my explosion, so I am working out a lot to recover my muscle mass. I am a little slow, so I know that need to improve. I think it’s my last chance at WCH gold. I do not have much patience anymore to play at this level (laughs). I am not that old, but I am “volleyball old.” I started off at a very young age, it was all very crazy. There comes a time when the body asks for rest. Let this be the last and best of all my WCHs. I have a very good felling about it.”
Even if Brazil doesn’t win gold this year, Thaisa would still be only 35 years old by the time the 2022 edition of the tournament comes around. However, coming off a career threatening injury is always traumatic, and it has certainly taken its toll in Thaisa’s psychological state. Regardless, it’s nice to see that she is focusing on the “now” as Brazil will need every ounce of her talents and experience to have a chance at this year’s WCH. Although very well served in the defensive aspect of play from its middle blockers, Thaisa is by far one of th world’s best offensive middles, a rare commodity in today’s game.
Brazil will debut in the competition on September 29 against Puerto Rico. It will then go on to play against Dominican Republic, Serbia, Kenya and Kazakhstan.