Not one but two medals land in Fernando Lages Guimarães magic hands with the men’s bronze and the women’s gold
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 11 November 2022 – The Brazilian women’s team winning gold medal in the 2022 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships is a record in itself, but for coach Fernando Lages Guimarães, winning two medals in a span of six hours is a feat on a whole different level.
Before the women’s gold medal match, coach Guimarães guided the men’s team to a bronze medal finish. And then hours later, the women’s team won their first and only gold medal.
“I never imagined this in my dreams. The last three or four weeks have been very hard for me because I started coaching the women’s team only three weeks ago. I brought back some good players and we had a short time to prepare,” Guimarães.
“I am very proud of both the men’s and women’s teams. We played 13 matches and just had one loss all together. It was an amazing week. The women’s team may be the best team for now, but tomorrow is another day. So we have to keep on working hard.
“I am also very proud of the boys because playing Iran was difficult and they were too strong. But my boys did their best and finishing third was good for me too.
“However, must talk about this after the World Championships because handling two national teams is too much for anyone, even for me. I spoke to our president and I said I could do it, but I realised that this week has been very hard because I have to do two trainings, two videos and two of everything.
“We still have to focus on the men’s team to qualify to the Paralympics, but that would also be a difficult task since a lot of teams, like Canada and the United States, have improved a lot. So we have a lot of work to do.
“I work in hippotherapy. My day job is with horses all the time. Coaching is just my night job because I have a club team in Brazil and then now the national team. I have to talk to my wife and the people I work with to see what I could do next with the national team. I am not young anymore. I am 60. I think I need to think a little bit more and have more fun with my family and horses. But for now, I want to drink wine and celebrate.”