Note from BW of Brazil: Of course, when most of think of the world’s most popular sports, handball isn’t one that immediately comes to mind, at least in comparison to the more celebrated genres such as basketball, baseball, (American) football, futebol (soccer) or volleyball, but its competitors dedicate themselves to the sport as much as players in any other sport. And like any other sport, handball has its superstars. And the Brazilian women’s team has its fair share of superstars. In 2012, for example, Alexandra do Nascimento was selected the world’s top handball player!
Today, we bring you another great player who may be considered among the world’s best! Meet Ana Paula Rodrigues, a top scorer for the women’s Olympic team who is leading one of Brazil’s last chances for another gold medal in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games!
Rio 2016: Maranhão native Ana Paula decides with 7 goals and Brazil wins in women’s handball
By Gabriel Seixas
Hailing from São Luís, Maranhão, in Brazil’s northeast, Ana Paula is the top scorer of Brazil for the third time in four games and lead the women’s team to another victory.
The center Ana Paula Rodrigues, born in São Luís, Maranhão, remains the big name of the Amazon in the Olympic Games in Rio. With seven goals, she led the women’s handball team to victory over Angola by a score of 28-24, on Friday morning (12). It’s the third victory of Brazil in four games.
With 28 goals, the maranhense (native of Maranhão) is playing at a high-level in the Olympic Games. In the opener against the current Olympic champion, Norway, Ana Paula had 12 goals and was decisive in Brazil’s victory. In the next game, against Romania, she was again the top scorer for Brazil with nine goals and led the team to another victory.
Interestingly, the only game with Ana Paula playing below average culminated in Brazil’s only defeat in the women’s tournament. She made only one goal in the defeat to Spain by a score of 29-24, last Wednesday (10).
Already classified, the women’s handball team ended its participation in the first stage on Sunday (14). With Ana Paula on the court, Brazil faces Montenegro, at 8:30 am. Along the way with the seleção (Brazilian national team), Maranhão has as its greatest achievement the world title in 2013, unprecedented in the history of Brazil.
A contemporary of Ana Paula at the Olympics didn’t have the same luck in Rio. The forward Iziane Castro, a basketball player from Maranhão, lost the fourth game in four matches in Rio-2016. The defeat to France by 74-64, last Thursday (11), ended the chances of the Brazilian women’s basketball team of advancing.
Other athletes from the Amazon also competed in recent days. The paraense (native of the state of Pará) Ian Matos, a swimming diver, ranked last (eighth) at the end of the 3 meter springboard synchronized at the side of side of Luiz Outerelo. The amazonense (Amazon native) Lucianne Barroncas, in water polo, lost with the women’s team to Russia by score of14-7, on Thursday morning (11).
Until the weekend (13th and 14th), seven Amazon athletes have disputes in Rio-2016. The only debut is for the boxer Julião Neto, of Pará, who starts the elimination round of flyweights (up to 52 kilos) this Saturday (13) at 10am.
Source: Portal Amazônia